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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Southern Classic -- Martha Style

Martha Stewart Everyday Food, 2008
Have you ever noticed that about once a year Martha Stewart comes out with a new book or magazine?  Sometimes it's a cookbook touting cupcakes or cookies.  Sometimes it's a new magazine with 100 quick and easy roast chicken recipes.  Sometimes it's a book is about "homekeeping", Martha-speak for housekeeping.  There are zillions of handy little tips for living just like Martha.  There's only one problem.  Most of the tips are, shall we say, not for the masses.  Most of us don't have to square footage to have an entire room designated for crafting.

But every once in a while, in one of those thousands of recipes Martha Stewart writes, she actually comes up with a recipe I want to try.  This doesn't happen often because I've sort of gotten over the whole Martha Stewart thing.  She makes me feel inadequate and I am a parent so I feel inadequate a lot of the time.  I don't need a stranger to do it to me too.

Back to the recipe.  The other day Martha was on the Today Show touting her quick and healthy recipes.  Quick?  Martha's recipes are usually only quick if you have followed her detailed instructions for properly stocking your pantry.  Otherwise, it takes a little longer than "quick" because you have to factor in specialty grocery shopping time.

But this recipe for Saucy Shrimp and Grits did look pretty quick.  With the exception of the shrimp, I had everything I needed in the house.  I even had grits, which for those of you not in the know, polenta is a fancy name for grits.  Score one for my pantry!

The recipe came together fairly quickly.  The grits have to cook for about 30 minutes, but you can do the rest of the prep while that's happening.  Once the grits are going, the shrimp cooks quickly and before you know it, you have a souther classic -- Martha style.

Recipe:  Saucy Shrimp and Grits
(Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, 2008)


Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup coarse grits (not quick-cooking)
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
1 pound large (31 to 35) peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, thawed
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce


In a medium saucepan, bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil over high; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in grits; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook, whisking occasionally, until grits are creamy and tender, about 30 minutes; stir in butter.
After grits have cooked for 15 minutes, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add onion and garlic to fat in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
To skillet, add tomatoes (with their juice) and 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook, stirring, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in hot sauce. Serve over grits, sprinkled with bacon.

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