It's the first Monday of June, which can only mean one thing... yep, it's time for another round of the Secret Recipe Club.
This month's assignment is Food Ramblings, a blog by Elizabeth, who first started blogging to help stick to her resolutions to eating better, cooking more and getting in shape. And it's obviously working, because she's been at it for over two years now!
There are tons of healthy (and a few not-so-healthy) recipes to choose from, so I was fully expecting to have a hard time choosing. I turned out to be pretty much a no-brainer, though, because I realised I had a bag of grits sitting in the pantry calling my name and a bag of shrimp in the freezer that needed eating as soon as I spotted the recipe Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits she adapted from Food Network.
If that's not fate, I don't know what is. (OK, it's maybe just a good excuse to make grits. But I'll take it.)
I don't make grits all that often, seeing as they're pretty hard to find up here in Toronto... but every time I do get around to making a pot, I'm always reminded of how delicious they are and how I really ought to work them into my regular rotation.
After all, grits are basically a heartier version of Italian polenta, which is a dish I make pretty much all the time.
This particular recipe actually takes advantage of the similarities between grits and polenta, since it's basically an Italian-inspired twist on the Southern comfort food favourite.
The grits are enriched with butter and Parmesan cheese, while the shrimp are pan-seared and tossed with a scampi-style sauce of lemon and garlic.
It's a perfect combination. The flavours are fresh and lively, but the finished dish still has that hearty stick-to-your ribs quality that I expect from a proper shrimp and grits.
The only change I made to the original recipe was to throw in some bright green fiddleheads to give the dish a boost of fresh spring flavour, which has the added bonus of effectively turning this into a one-bowl meal.
All you need is a glass of crisp white wine, and you've got yourself a meal that's equally fit for a busy weeknight dinner or a fancy weekend dinner party.
On a side note, this will actually be my last post with the Secret Recipe Club.
It's been a great ride this past couple of years, and I've discovered some really phenomenal blogs along the way, but I've decided it's time to step aside and let someone else have a turn.
I'll miss the excitement of perusing my buddy's blog to pick just the right recipe and then waiting for reveal day to see which recipe of mine got picked, but I'll still be living vicariously by checking out everyone's reveal day posts. Thanks for the good times (and for the good eats), everyone!
Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits with Fiddleheads
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
This dish combines the classic Southern-style shrimp and grits with the bright flavours of Italian shrimp scampi. An optional addition of sauteed fiddleheads adds a touch of seasonal spring flavour.
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup stone-ground grits (not instant)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 ¼ lbs raw shrimp, shelled, tailed and deveined
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 lb fresh fiddleheads (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Prepare the Grits:
- In a medium-sized saucepan set over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and salt until incorporated. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits are soft and have absorbed most of the water. Stir in the parmesan, butter and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm while you prepare the shrimp.
Make the Shrimp and Fiddleheads:
- Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
- If adding fiddleheads, prepare them by brushing lightly and trimming the woody stems. Wash well under cold running water to remove any dirt or particles. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the fiddleheads for 5 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Drain, then plunge immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it starts to sizzle. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne along with the blanched fiddleheads (if using), and saute for 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque in the centre. Remove from the heat and stir in the water, lemon juice and parsley. Toss to coat the shrimp with the sauce.
- To serve, spoon the grits into 4 shallow bowls, and top off with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle with a little more parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Main
Kim Beaulieu says
PS fiddleheads make me smile. Also a "dad" favourite. Kiana and I were chatting it up about them the other day. She said they fly off the produce shelves at work when they have them.
Kim Beaulieu says
Squee. My dad would have gobbled this all up in minutes.
Nancy @ gottagetbaked says
Isabelle, your photos here are incredibly beautiful. The lighting, the composition, everything is perfect. I've never had grits before and I've only ever had polenta once, so long ago that I've forgotten what they taste like. I need to hunt some down so that I can try it! I love shrimp - I'd easily inhale this dish.
Aurora Importing says
You have a magic touch for seafood, Isabelle!
That looks delicious (and I don't really like shrimp). I've never had grits, but want to! You'll definitely be missed at SRC. Glad I got to cook from your blog 3 times! Will be back.
[email protected] says
Those green fiddleheads mimic the shrimp in size and are sheer genius in this beautiful dish, but all your dishes are beautiful.
This looks just amazing. I have never had fiddleheads, but I've heard they are good! Sorry to hear you won't be around. I was hoping to get assigned to your beautiful blog one day!
Sounds yummy, Isabelle, I've never used or had fiddleheads before, they look intruiging .... U will be missed at SRC!
Awww will miss you! Especially since you make stuff like this. Damn!
I fiddlehead ferns so much for the few weeks they're in season in the spring. Your shrimp and grits looks so fantastic. Great SRC post, and sorry that I won't see your blog in the rotation any longer
sarah k @ the pajama chef says
what a great dish! i love shrimp & grits. we'll miss you in the SRC!
Camilla @ Culinary Adventures says
I'm officially pining for you already. But I can't wait to get my hands on some fiddleheads and make this. Gorgeous, as always, Isabelle!
Oh bummer that you won't be participating anymore! That's exactly how I came to find your lovely spot :)
But these scrimp! At first I thought the fiddle heads were grilled jalapeno slices and then my mouth began to water.
This *also* looks super awesome!