Sunday I started my journey home from Greensboro and stopped for the night at my parents. No, I know the drive isn't that far, but it was Father's day and my youngest sister graduated a few days ago, so my mom had planned a waffles and mimosa brunch..it was great! Later that night I cooked a scrumptious meal of shrimp and cheesy grits...really cheesy!
My nieces M- and B- are a riot! After dinner and presents they fashioned the leftover tissue paper into pirate hats, swords, a princess dress and hat. Not to mention the tutus they got as birthday gifts, they were a sight!
Shrimp: I used 21/25's enough for each person to have 12 shrimp each, plus 12 for the pot. (a lot, but I hate when you are eating shrimp and want that ONE more, but they are all gone, I didn't want anyone to feel 'shrimped' on the shrimp...shrimp leftovers are easy and great too...)
Grits: I used 5 minute grits, as my dad would, and did say "magic grits" (cousin Vinny and Joe Pesci references abound at my parents house)
Okay, everything else
-2 really large pots
-1 block of cream cheese
-1 block of extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
-1 block of sharp cheddar cheese grated
-1/2 package of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled, save 2T drippings
-1 bunch scallions chopped
-1 large package of mushrooms sliced
-6-8 large cloves of garlic, sliced, diced, crushed, however you like it
-small carton of half and half
-dash of fresh ground pepper
---using the reserved drippings from the bacon and a touch of olive oil, cook the garlic over really low heat for about 30 minutes, gives it a really mellow flavor. Add the mushrooms and a knob of butter to the garlic and turn the heat up to about medium high, stirring regularly. You want the mushrooms to brown lightly and soften, but not get mushy.
---in another pot melt a knob of butter over medium-medium low heat, add about a cup of half and half, when this is all nice and warm add most of both cheddar cheeses, reserving some for garnishing later. Keeping the heat nice and medium-low so you don't burn the dairy, stir this constantly, add 7/8th's or so of the cream cheese to the melty, cheesy goodness. Remove this from the heat when it it all melted and set aside until you are ready to add the grits.
---about 7-10 minutes before you are ready to serve add the shrimp to the mushroom mixture with a cup of chicken stock and the remaining cream cheese and chopped scallions. Stir a great deal to coat everything evenly in the amazing sauce you have in the mushroom goodness. Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, but be careful to not overcook, 5-7 minutes.
---around the same time return your cheesy mixture to the heat and slowly bring to a boil. When it is boiling add 3 cups of grits, a dash of fresh ground pepper, and chicken stock to level out the consistency. (I made WAY TOO MANY GRITS...if that is even possible...)
Serve shrimp and sauce over the grits, sprinkle with a touch of cheddar. Homemade Caesar salad and warm, hand-cut, crusty croutons accompanied this dish. Enjoy!
Oh, and I think my parents are still eating cheesy grits.