Ever feel like you are just one step behind, just a little late. I think I am perpetually meant to be one step behind, I mean, I am kind of good at it. Getting to the party just a little past fashionably late. Where you sneak in and close the door quietly behind you so that the party in the next room isn’t disrupted and so that you can sneak in without being truly noticed, because you don’t enjoying being the center of anything. You slip your shoes off and place them next to a pair of wedges that you take notice of and quickly snag a glance at the designer/brand and make a quick mental note to add those to your wish list and wonder/hope if they are still available in your size. You take quick inventory of your socks, praying there are no holes and that they are matching. You toss your jacket and scarf over an empty chair and slip ever so quietly into the background of the party, scanning and searching for a friendly familiar face.
This one step behind phenomenon is kind of ironic, seeing how I am one of the most punctual people I know. I learned early on that to be early is on time, on time is to be late, and to be late is to be left behind. This may have pertained to team sports and practice and bus schedules and wasn’t meant to be a life lesson, but it has stuck with me.
I have gotten used to showing up to the party a bit late….I am just glad I get to the party, safe and sound.
So when I discovered the glories of grits, I just assumed I was probably the last to figure this out. And I think I am. The grit party started hours ago and here I am, sneaking in…trying to pretend that I have been here from the start. But I haven’t and that is OK…it doesn’t matter when you show up, just that you do. So here I am…tying on my party hat, grabbing a cocktail, and joining in on the party.
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Stone Ground Grits (or polenta)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- ⅓ Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Pound Shrimp, peeled,deveined, tails removed
- 6 Strips Thick Cut Bacon, chopped
- 2 Bunches of green onions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons Lemon Juice (from a lemon shaped bottle is fine)
- In a medium sauce pan, bring the water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in grits and whisk to combine. Reduce temperature to low. Cook for about 20 minutes (or according to package directions) until water is absorbed and the grits have thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter, milk, and cheese.
- Meanwhile, rinse shrimp and pat dry.
- Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.
- Discard all but 3 to 4 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add shrimp to bacon grease and cook until shrimp turn pink (just a few minutes).
- Add bacon, green onions, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice. Cook for about 3 more minutes.
- Serve the shrimp over a healthy helping of grits. Serve immediately.
adapted slightly from Bobby Flay