Shrimp and Grits alla Mediterranea
I had never had Shrimp and Grits before I moved to Charleston, honestly, I’d never even heard of it as a dish. Grits are really breakfast food where I come from and eaten with eggs and bacon. I thought they were gross as a child, but they started to grow on me as an adult and I was really won over by them as an accompaniment for fish. I have been making grits with most of the fish that I have been preparing these days.
I was in Atlanta last week, visiting my family and made dinner for them and a good friend, who shares the same wheat allergy as my mother, leaving my stand-by pasta out of the question. Since Italian food is my specialty, I wanted to make something that picked up on those influences, but different at the same time. Since my husband stayed in Charleston to work, I took advantage of not having his food allergy in the way of my menu and made a shrimp and grits with a Mediterranean influence, with a roasted tomato base, olives, capers and basil. Delicious.
Shrimp & Grits alla Mediterranea
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 1/2 cup of black brined olives, like niçoise olives
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 cup of red or white wine, I used red because it was what I had, I would normally use white wine
- 4 leaves of basil, cut into slivers
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cups grits (you may have some leftover, though too much is better than too little, you can fry the leftovers for another meal)
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°. Wash and halve the tomatoes before tossing them on a baking sheet with 1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Roast the tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have shriveled and browned a bit.
Heat a smidgen oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the roasted tomatoes, add the wine and bring to a simmer to evaporate the alcohol. Add the olives and capers and lower the heat to simmer.
In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, bring 4 1/2 cups of water seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Slowly stir in 1 cup of grits. Continue stirring and reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
When the grits are almost done, add the shrimp to the tomatoes, making sure to toss frequently to assure that the shrimp are cooked through. They will only take a few minutes, be sure not to overcook them, they will get hard and rubbery.
Serve the shrimp over the grits and add a few slivers of basil to each plate.
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