Kiss My Grits

March 31,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Last week I made mention of my love of southern food. Before living in the Washington, DC area (I was raised in the “north”) and meeting my husband, I had never tried grits. The first time I tried them, they were plain and unseasoned, and I declared, “they taste like wallpaper paste.” Here is my formal apology to grits: I am sorry I so rashly and harshly judged you and your flavor. Please forgive me. It wasn’t until I learned how to season and enhance the grits with a little bit of salt and pepper, and my favorite addition, cheese, that I have learned to absolutely love grits. In fact, as I type I have grits in my pantry and seldom is there a time when my cupboards don’t boast this versatile and quick whole grain dish. If you haven’t tried grits, I urge you to give them a whirl. Both R and G gobble them up, and they are a good whole grain side alternative to brown rice or pasta. We use cheese grits as a side to everything from jambalaya to things off the grill. But our favorite way to use grits is to make Shrimp and Grits. Shrimp and Grits are the ultimate homemade fast food. Shrimp cooks in next to no time, and the grits take about 10 minutes from start to finish. Shrimp are low in fat, high in protein, and although they can be more expensive than other forms of protein, you can find some really good deals on frozen shrimp if you check your grocery advertisements. When they’re on sale, stock up and keep them in your freezer for a quick go-to for an easy, yet impressive meal. Shrimp and Grits 1 pound of medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined* 1 tablespoon olive oil 1-2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning Parmesan Cheese Grits Recipe Skewer the shrimp and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Grill over a hot grill, 2-3 minutes per side. Serve on top of grits. Serves 4. *You can buy the shrimp already deveined and peeled by the bag in the frozen section of your grocery store, or ask the fish monger at your grocery to do so. SPC