Today (May 10th) is National Shrimp Day
. How do you celebrate National Shrimp Day? You eat shrimp of course.
There are a million shrimp dishes out there to try so you have a lot of choices. Maybe you can even try several dishes. I mean, you are probably going to eat three meals today. Why not make them all shrimpy?
The one I chose was Shrimp and Grits
from the Food Network. Why this particular Shrimp and Grits recipe? Because of all the cheese obviously.
I didn't try grits until later in life. And the first time I tried them I was not impressed. But I decided to give them a second chance. I thought maybe what my first taste of grits was missing was 2 cups of cheese. Turns out I like grits. (I have tried them without the cheese. I still liked them.)
It turns out that Shrimp and Grits is pretty easy to make. The hardest part is deveining the shrimp. I hate doing that. It isn't so much that it's messy but that it takes me forever. I keep hoping I will get faster with practice. Problem is I don't practice very often. So I'm still slow. Now, the recipe says prep time is 15 minutes. Those estimates are always wrong. I always thought it was the time it took to prepare. But now I think it does not take into account any chopping or, say, deveining that has to take place. So if you have all your ingredients in the state they are asked for (i.e.. sliced, chopped, minced, deveined) then it will be 15 minutes of prep. If not, you will need to add some time.
All that being said, there are some things to chop and mince and juice. But it is all simple cooking prep. By the way, you will be surprised how hard it is to cut raw bacon. Well, I was anyway.
Now, the recipe calls for stone-ground grits. I couldn't find any. I just bought a can of store brand grits. Which took about 5 seconds to cook as opposed to the 20 to 25 minutes the recipe says the grits will take. You can make up some of that deveining time here. But you need to watch them. Because I'm not joking. It's quick. (Be careful when you are adding the salt. Remember that you will be adding a lot of cheese to the grits and then bacon to the shrimp.) Then you add 2 cups of cheddar cheese. That is a lot of cheese. I like cheese. But that was a lot of cheese even for me. But they were delicious so...
The shrimp are cooked in the grease left in the pan after you cook the bacon. (You use 6 slices of bacon. Which leaves you with left over bacon. I mean, you can't let it go to waste.) Then you add the other ingredients, like garlic and scallions and such and you are done. All you have to do is spoon out the grits and put the shrimp mixture on top.
Grits do not reheat all that well. If you do not eat them immediately they will not be the creamy, spoonable texture, they will be a solid, sliceable mass. They will still taste good though. I brought this for lunch, having made it the night before. I put it all in the microwave. The grits, as I said, were solid (but not hard) and the microwave didn't do the shrimp any favors either. But it was what I had to work with and the food still tasted great. Fresh, this is a delight. With the creamy grits with the meltly cheese, and the firm but not rubbery (hopefully) texture of the shrimp and the bacon to add a nice savory, salty touch. I think Shrimp and Grits would be a perfect way to celebrate this wonderful holiday.