A while back, further back than I want to say, I won a fabulous prize from the fabulous Lula. The package of goodies included fun springy dishtowels, piggy paint (that's toenail polish), a Hello Kitty clip board, adorable ribbon hair clips for Sophie, yummy peanut M & M's AND a $25 gift card for Target! How freaking awesome is all that?
But wait, there's more! The best part was a Paula Deen Cookbook! I must confess a love for Miss Paula. I love her accent (which, btw, is how I imagine Lula sounds), I love that she cooks in full bling (the woman never wears less than 10 carats) and she never met a stick of butter she didn't like (a woman after my own butter-lovin' heart). So when I got the cookbook, I was very excited to delve into all of the tasty goodness.
One of the things I really like about Paula's recipes is that they are very accessible. I typically have most of the ingredients on hand, but if I don't they're not unusual stuff, so it's not the kind of thing where I have to buy a whole bunch, bottle or whatever only to use a pinch and the rest either goes bad or languishes in my spice cabinet never to be used again. I have made a number of recipes from the book and each time we have really enjoyed it. There was one recipe that I kept stopping on and then passing by, though, because I felt some trepidation at attempting.
Because I have a confession.
I have never made grits before. Now, I was born in Georgia, yes that's right folks, I'm a peach, but we left when I was four, so I wasn't raised on the stuff. In Kansas, where I grew up, you can get it, but it's not a staple. I guess that's probably true of Maryland, where I currently live, as well. Neil had never even tried them. I know, GASP!
So after months of looking at the tantalizing picture, temptation finally won out over fear and tonight, for the first time, I made grits. More specifically, I made Shrimp and Cheese Grits*. (Her website does not have this recipe listed, so I've linked to another site that shows it.)
Salt and Pepper
Basically, you cook the grits (why was I so afraid of this, it was easy!) and then mix in the cheese and butter. Meanwhile, you fry up the bacon, remove it, and cook the shrimp in the bacon grease (um, YUM!). Throw the lemon juice, garlic and parsley into the shrimp. Scoop shrimp mixture over grits and garnish with crumbled bacon. Easy peasy, y'all.
And let me tell you: it. was. so. good. At first, Neil said, "hmm, it's different." But after a couple of bites, he was won over by it's bacony, cheesy, buttery deliciousness. As he was wiping his plate clean, he said, "I would eat that again. And again! And again!"
So a big, giant (and much belated) thank you to Lula for all of the wonderful stuff. A whole new, grits-making world has been opened up to me.
Have a great weekend, y'all!
*Thanks to this one dish, I will be spending the next three days on the elliptical. It is not for the faint at heart.
**I am so irritated that I didn't notice the butter was upside down when I was staging that picture. Now, it's ALL I can see.