When I got home for Christmas, my mom and I sat down with her iPad pulled up to my pinterest boards and some of our standard cookbooks we always use around the holidays. I had several recipes I wanted to try, so we got to work making a menu for the next few days and got our shopping list ready to go! A trip to 2 different grocery stores (and the liquor store of course), and we were in business!
The first recipe we were going to try has a bit of a back story. It was a Shrimp and Grits Casserole from Taste of the South Magazine. Now, when I followed the link from my pin, the recipe came up and we jotted down the ingredients. But that night, when I went to actually start cooking, the recipe was nowhere to be found! The link to the website was broken, as was all other recipe links on their website. Cue panic attack. It was close to 6:30 and I had yet to start cooking. So I did some quick googling, found a plain, ol' boring recipe for Shrimp and Grits and got to work (but I was still really bummed about not trying the original recipe).
While I was
All this to say, the recipe below is the original recipe I wanted to try, but not the actual one we ended up eating. My improvision tasted delicious, but I honestly couldn't recreate it because I have no idea what I actually did. I'll certainly have to make this again - the way I meant to make it originally! I would definitely use less cream/half-and-half to make this a little more figure friendly!
Shrimp and Grits Casserole
from Taste of the South
(serves 10-12; I halved the recipe!)
3 cups water
3 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 cups quick-cooking grits
5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 slices bacon
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 pounds medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups water and half-and-half to a boil over medium-high heat. Add grits, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cheese, egg, salt, and red pepper flakes. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake until set, approximately 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add flour, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and cream; stir until combined. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes. (I don't really think this step is necessary. Just add a splash of half-and-half and chicken broth and you should be good to go!) Add shrimp; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Creole seasoning, stirring to combine.
Spoon mixture over grits. Top with crumbled bacon and sliced green onion. Serve immediately.