Shrimp and Grits, Ya'll

I know what you're thinking. Three posts in a row, Kristine? What's going on? Well, that's what happens when this girl is on vacay - time to breath, time to think, time to get the creative juices going!

Time off from work also means I get brave enough to tool around in the kitchen. Usually when it's my turn to host the neighbors, I stick with one of my tried and true recipes that I'm super comfortable with. But today I worked up the nerve to try something new. Two somethings new, in fact.

Believe it or not, I have never cooked shrimp. Or grits. And certainly not the two together. In fact, I barely eat grits. I'm not a Southern girl, it's just not how I was raised. That would be Italian and Swedish, if you don't know. But my pal Emily raved about a super easy recipe that seemed simple enough for even this kitchen klutz. And I'm pleased to report that it was easy. And delicious. And passed the test of my very Southern neighbor. So there you have it. Shrimp and grits, ya'll. Enjoy!

Yum, right?

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

1 cup quick cook grits
Salt (I used kosher) and Pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
2 Tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.

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