Hey, guess what! Grits are not gross.
I used to think of grits as a slimy sloppy Southern breakfast that I would have to share with an alligator. And I’m from the South! Well, not the DEEP DEEP South, but Arkansas. Close enough.
I’ve had polenta a gazillion times of course, but grits. . . oh GRITS. They’re made from corn and/or hominy, so they have these rustic masa-y tones that make the back of your throat want to relax and light incense.
And then when you top the gorgeous mess (with butter in it, yessss) with seared paprika shrimp and a drizzle or 35 of this rich tomato sauce with onions and garlic? AND SPRINKLED BACON?
I’m moving in with the alligators. I don’t even care.
Looks like a lot of stuff, but it ain’t no thang. Shrimp, grits, tomatoes, butter, bacon, onion, garlic, hot sauce, paprika, dried herbs, tomato paste, yes yes yes.
Go ahead and toss the shrimp with the paprika and dried herbs.
Get your bacon all rendered. Remove from the pan and set aside. And maybe taste a bacon bit to, you know, make SURE it tastes right.
Add the shrimp to the pan and sear sear sear. Nothing in life is more beautiful.
Once you remove the shrimp, add the onions and garlic and tomato paste and get it all coated and perfectly caramelized. I can barely breathe just remembering this.
In go the tomatoes, with a smidge of water. Simmer simmer simmer. While is this going, cook your grits. Which is SO easy. So easy that I forgot to photograph it because I had my head over the skillet enjoying a lovely tomato steam bath.
The grits cook quickly in some boiling water for about 5 minutes. Then you toss in some butter and all possibilities in life open up.
A dash of hot sauce goes into the tomatoes, last second. Which will rule.
And then you serve the grits with as much or as little shrimp as you like, a nice spoonful of the tomato sauce and a good sprinkling of that reserved bacon. That is, if you haven’t eaten it all by now. Which was me. Maybe.
Aaaaand you have this.
I might need to have this whole “not being able to breathe” thing checked out.