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F4F: Blowtorch Shrimp on Grits

A Shrimp

Ah, the lowly shrimp. Misunderstood, often maligned, regularly overcooked with reckless abandon by all too many closet celebrity chefs.

It doesn’t have to be that way, of course. There are ways to properly prepare this diminuitive denizens of the deep. (Yes, I’ve been reading about alliteration.) Cajun cooks seem to have learned how as well as anybody. Here’s the evidence:

Blowtorch Shrimp on Grits

  • 2 cups grits
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiana cheese
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon light olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans (10 oz) extra-hot tomatoes and chiles
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
  • 1.5 to 2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the grits according to directions. When ready, stir in the cheese, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, and season with black pepper. Set aside in a warm spot. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil, then sauté the peppers and remaining garlic for 3-4 minutes, with stirring. Add canned tomatoes and seasoning, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat a bit and add shrimp. Stir in, then cover for 4-5 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked. Spoon shrimp mixture over grits in festive, shallow bowls. Serve with a nice light salad or cole slaw, and lemonade or freshly brewed peach or mint tea.

Don’t like commercial Cajun seasoning? Make your own! Here’s a nice one: 8 oz salt, 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon each black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder. Stir in a teaspoon each dried thyme, dried basil, and crushed dry bay leaf. Mix well and store in an air-tight container in a dark corner of your spice cabinet; don’t refrigerate. Should last for 4-6 months.

Enjoy the (Cajun Shrimp) Heat!

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