Killer Shrimp and Grits

When we arrived at The Beach Club and unloaded our tons of stuff….you’re so exhausted that the first impulse, is to go out to eat. You know what I mean…the thought of tackling cooking, after a long drive and unpacking stuff….”Hey, want to go out to eat tonight?”
But we have PLANNED to cook tonight, and isn’t that what we brought all the food for? Buck up, baby….and after all, there are three of us to do the chopping and table setting…..while Mom, after many, many years at the stove, gets to watch.
We are preparing Shrimp and Grits.
Now, there are as many ways to do this recipe as there are grains of sand on the beach, and there’s no real right or wrong way, but this is what we did. The key is good shrimp, and as you know, that is easier said than done. My sister Audrey, who lives on the Gulf Coast, has access to really good shrimp from the Gulf…not farm raised in Thailand. So, do the best you can.

Killer Shrimp and Grits, serves four
1 pound of large shrimp, peeled
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 large vidallia onion,chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, with some green top included
salt and pepper,
(you could add a little finely chopped ham, which adds flavor)
Grits for four….done by package directions
1/2 stick butter, 3 T olive oil

Prepare grits first…. when you’ve completed the package directions(they should be on the thick side), pour about a half cup heavy cream over the top…let them sit and warm while you do the shrimp.
Saute red pepper and vidalia onion(and ham if you’re using it) in the butter and oil, over medium heat, until onions are translucent.
Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add shrimp and green onions…saute for about a minute…until the shrimp are all pink.Don’t overcook!
Salt and pepper to taste, some Old Bay wouldn’t be amiss, or a couple of shots of Tobasco, if you like.
Now stir the cream into the grits, make sure they’re warm…..oh they are yummy.
Pour the grits onto a pretty platter, and the shrimp vege mixture in the center of that….and serve!

We ate that evening on the balcony, overlooking the beach as the sun was beginning to set….It was a lovely, lovely evening. And I can assure you, this recipe will please everyone. I also served it while I was in Charleston back in March, one evening when Sandy Unitas came over for dinner….She was in Charleston on a “trip to take care of herself”. That night I used stone ground grits….They take a lot longer to cook(about 40 minutes) and can be hard to find, but they’re worth the effort.
However, quick or regular grits(never, never instant), are almost as good, and much quicker. I hope you enjoy the dish as much as we did!

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