My mom’s family is from the South. While we ate plenty of other things, Southern cuisine definitely falls into my personal “soul food” category. However, we ate our grits as a breakfast food with eggs. Occasionally, my mom also ventured into a cheesy grit soufflé dish that was outstanding and featured copious amounts of Velveeta.
But shrimp and grits? While it may be a Southern classic, it wasn’t even on our radar. After eating several restaurant versions and trying this recipe at home, I was definitely missing out. This version of the classic is lightened up and heavy on the greens. I liked how this recipe opted for mustard greens, since I find them to be milder and less tough than traditional collard greens or chard.
Shrimp and Grits with Greens (Serves 4)
3 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock, divided
2 cups skim milk
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup old-fashioned grits
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped green onions
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
½ cup sliced yellow onion
3 cloves minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon honey, divided
1 large bunch mustard greens, deveined and torn into large leaves
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 teaspoons paprika
1. Bring 2 cups stock, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon pepperto a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and green onions. Keep grits warm.
2. While grits are cooking, heat a large skillet with 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add yellow onions and 2 cloves garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock, 1 teaspoon honey, and ½ teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until reduced to about ¼ cup. Add greens to pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from pan; keep warm.
3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons pepper, 2 teaspoons oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 teaspoons honey, and paprika in a bowl; toss gently to coat. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Shrimp will be pink when done. Add remaining ¼ cup stock to pan; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Serve shrimp over grits with greens.
Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):
Protein: 41 g
Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 226 mg
Carbohydrates: 54 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 420 mg
Recipe Notes: My honest preference is stone-ground grits. I couldn’t find any, so I chose old fashioned. The original recipe calls for quick-cooking. The less quickly the grits cook, the better the texture, I have found. If adapted for a different kind of grits, just divide the amount of liquid on the package in half between broth and milk. Cook according to package timing. I highly recommend trying stone ground grits, especially if you think you don’t like grits. It is a different taste and texture for a different experience.
Source: adapted from Cooking Light