Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From "Ewww" to "Woooooo!"

I remember a time when my love affair with food was tumultuous. It was not pleasant, not inspiring and certainly not welcome in my day-to-day routine. It would nag me, like a jilted lover. "You're not paying enough attention to meeeee." "You never want to try new things!" "Do I look prettttty?"

I feel sorry for the boyfriends out there, mine included.

I didn't have the patience to pay attention to this love growing inside of me. I knew I enjoyed food- I don't think I have ever skipped a meal. I knew I savored each bite a little too much...I knew I wasn't exactly earning gold stars when it came to sharing during mealtime. Before long, I knew I had to embrace it.

I was in Philadelphia at my sisters house, a few days before her wedding. My mother decided grace my family with her culinary talents one evening. To say that I had been excited about the potential of this meal was an understatement. I remember the sheer disgust that reached deep down into my soul when I heard she was making.....

.....shrimp and grits. NO.

Enter a killer mood swing. Not only was I not going to be able to enjoy her famous "Chicken Cindy," but I was being forced to entertain the idea of enjoying her deep southern roots, or so she called them. (She was born in Texas, but moved at 4 months old...puhhlease.)

Begrudgingly I help set the table. There I sat, heavy hearted, fork in hand. When I finally put that first odd shaped bite in my mouth- and chewed- I was utterly dumbfounded.

The flavor!

The texture!

The color!

The presentation!


It was such a piece of art, this meal- I will never forget it. I urge you to make this culinary wonder- the more unappetizing it sounds to you- the more you will enjoy it. It is definitely a dish worth adding to your repertoire.


-4 cups water
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar
- 1 lb shrimp- peeled and deveined
- 6 slices bacon- chopped
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 large clove garlic- minced


Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed - about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir with butter and cheese.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned- drain well. In the grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions, and garlic. Sautee for 3 minutes.

Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture and mix well.

recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay and the Food Network.

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