Monday, November 17, 2008

What's for dinner?

Shrimp Grits, of course! I do not know what shrimp grits, or shrimp and grits is supposed to be, but several months ago i came up with my own version. And, as always, each outcome is different since i never make it the same way twice. Tonight i added bacon and pickapeppa sauce (b/c i was out of tabasco) for the first time and it was great! so, for anyone interested, here is a basic recipe that you can manipulate any way you see fit for your tastes!

*1lb frozen, small deveined and tails off shrimp (thaw and pat dry)
*quick cooking grits (i use the great value brand), follow instructions for either 4 or 6 servings depending on how much you want to make
*3 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
*1 to 2 celery stalks (to personal preference), cleaned and chopped
*1/4 of an onion, chopped
*garlic (personal preference on how much), chopped
*6 oz cream cheese
*2 tbsp sour cream (this is a recent addition, since i had some leftover...feel free to omit!)
*1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
*1 bay leaf (i always have these on hand b/c i make soup often, no worries if you don't!)
*salt and pepper to taste
*tony chacheres to taste (creole seasoning for anyone unfamiliar)
*tabasco or pickapeppa sauce, or any sauce or seasoning you have on hand to give it a bit of zip
*large rectangular baking dish, i use a pyrex, sprayed with cooking spray

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees F.

In a large skillet on medium heat, add a little evoo, then add carrots. While carrots are cooking, start cooking the grits according to the directions in a large pot. Add celery and onions to skillet along with seasonings and bay leaf. When onions are translucent and carrots are tender, add the thawed and dried shrimp to veggie mixture, let cook for a couple of minutes. Don't forget to stir the grits!
When grits are finished cooking, turn off heat, remove bay leaf, garlic, and add shrimp/veggie mixture to grits. Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, and a tablespoon (more or less depending on you) of the sauce of your choice. Top with shredded cheddar and bake about 20-25 mins...until cheese is melted.
If this is dished immediately following removal from oven, it will have a soupy consistency, but will still taste great! As it cools, it will begin to set up and become stiffer.

Resist. The. Urge.

For a couple of weeks now, I have been resisting the urge to decorate for Christmas! It does not help that many stores, restaurants, and even my hair salon have begun playing Christmas music. Yesterday I took about three hours of my afternoon and dedicated it to looking at Christmas decorations at some of my favorite stores. Luckily, for the pocketbook, I fought the urge and did not buy anything. The down side is that the diesire to pull down my own decorations from the attic is even stronger. I told myself i can do it next week before we leave to visit family for Thanksgiving. Also, i have a feeling that Meg would make fun of me if she popped in and caught me in the act of decorating. One more week, one more week...