Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits are a classic Southern dish. The traditional recipe is made with cheese, green onions and bacon - and it is a delicious treat. In this version, I have topped creamy grits with a tasty tomato and okra sauce. I have always loved okra, possibly because of the way the seeds burst when you bite into them.

This is express food, especially if you have someone else on grill duty. My husband was at the fire while I handled chopping the vegetables and cooking indoors for this meal. We have been grilling out almost every night. Canada has such mild summers - dinner is the only excuse we need to barbecue.

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
8 fresh okra pods, trimmed and halved width-wise
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1 pound of large tiger shrimp
Sea salt, to taste
Olive oil, for grilling

3/4 cup quick grits
Sea salt, to taste

Over medium-high, heat one teaspoon oil in a medium pot. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, okra, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Remove the shrimp shell except the last section near the tail. Thread on shrimp on skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water according to the package instructions. Brush a little oil on the shrimp to keep them from sticking to the grill. Salt to taste. Over medium heat, grill shrimp 2-3 minutes per side or until they are no longer translucent. Keep warm.

Prepare grits according to the package instructions. Salt to taste.

To plate: Layer grits, then the tomato-okra mixture and top with shrimp.

Serves 4

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