You know that old song, “I’m a little bit Country, I’m a little Bit Rock and Roll?” (I think it came out like the year I was born, so I’m pretty sure I just called myself old… Sigh…) Anyway, this recipe is a little bit Texas and a little bit Vermont. Growing up in a house with a mom from Texas and a Dad from New York, it was just as likely that we’d have grits for breakfast, as it was to have oatmeal. That sort of explains a lot about why I think this recipe makes total sense as a pairing. It’s like corn two ways or something.
Here’s what I did. I made cheese grits with spicy salsa and cilantro. Usually in Texas you’d likely see Colby Jack as the featured cheese, but I used extra-sharp Vermont Cheddar. Using a really sharp cheese means you can get away with using less of it, saving on saturated fat and calories.
Then I whipped up a sweet corn sauté with local Vermont organic sweet corn cut off the cob, gorgeous garden fresh scallions and tasty little shrimp from Maine (they were frozen and thawed.) I may just break out in song!
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 2/3 cup grits, such as arrowhead mills organic yellow grits
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced, ¼ cup sliced greens separated
- ¾ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, 3 ounces
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kernels from 6 ears sweet corn (see how to cut-off the kernels here), about 4 cups
- pinch ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces small peeled and de-veined shrimp, such as frozen thawed wild Maine
- 1 small tomato, diced
- Prepare cheese grits: Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually sprinkle in grits and ½ teaspoon salt, return to a simmer, stirring often. Cover, reduce heat to low or to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in ¼ cup sliced scallion greens, cheese, salsa and cilantro.
- Meanwhile, prepare shrimp and corn: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, the remaining scallions, chipotle or cayenne and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the corn is piping hot all the way through and the scallions are wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook, stirring often until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in tomatoes.
- Serve the grits with the shrimp and corn.