Good ol’ grits, known in other parts of the world as polenta, may seem like slow food, but they’re fast! And I’m not talking about that polenta-like substance sold in the tubes. Look for coarse grained cornmeal grits (also known as polenta), organic if you can find it. Bob’s Red Mill sells it in 2 lb. bags and you can also find it in a heathy food store’s bulk area. For cooking, I like a ratio of 1 cup polenta to 4 cups boiling, salted water. When it’s done cooking and off the heat, add your butter, olive oil, and/or cheese to make it extra tasty. So many things taste great on top of it, spicy shrimp being an excellent choice!
I absolutely love the Peri Peri sauce from Wildly Delicious! You can buy it at Olivelle here in Bozeman, Williams-Sonoma San Francisco, or find a store near you on their website. If you can’t find it, just pass the Tabasco.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup corn grits (or “polenta”)
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 4 green onions, sliced thinly
- ¼ cup bourbon whiskey
- 2 Tbsp Peri Peri Chili & Garlic Sauce (optional, but seek out this product from Wildly Delicious!)
- juice from ½ lemon
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
- additional sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add salt and sprinkle in the grits, stirring with a wooden spoon. Bring back to boil, lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until soft textured - lift the lid every few minutes to give it a stir. Remove from heat, stir in olive oil, butter, and cheese, cover and let sit while you cook the shrimp.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat for a couple minutes then add the shrimp and toss a couple times. Add the green onions and cook until the shrimp just begin to turn pink. Remove pan from heat, let it cool a minute, then add the whiskey -- be careful as it is highly flammable! Now, either ignite the alcohol with a match, or boil a couple minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the Peri Peri Chili & Garlic Sauce and cook until shrimp are done, a minute or two. (They will turn opaque. Best not to overcook!)
- On your platter, layer the grits, cooked shrimp and sauce, then drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle parsley, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.