Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shrimp and Grits: the lighter version

Southern food is comforting, naughty, and for the most part, hella unhealthy, so when I want a lighter taste of heaven, I make a few changes. First and foremost, I refuse to use bacon grease in my food. Yes, I know, this is completely unforgivable, but I imagine these days (given our increased awareness of diabetes, obesity, etc.) there won't be many objections. I also substitute low fat cheese where I can, and I tend to broil, bake, or roast meats and seafood instead of pan frying. And even though butter makes me the happiest girl on earth, I shun all things Paula Deen in favor of olive oil instead.

Although this recipe certainly doesn't hold a candle to its more authentic counterpart, it's a great way to eat healthy and still cheat a bit.

Shrimp and Grits
(Recipe adapted from

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quick grits (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 cup low fat white cheddar cheese
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (16-20 per pound)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
2. Bring broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in grits and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Cover to keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, toss shrimp, scallions, oil, garlic powder, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring once, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve the grits topped with the broiled shrimp and scallions.

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