Monday, August 23, 2010

Chimichurri shrimp 'n grits

Saturday's lunch. Steve did a bunch of yardwork while I stayed inside, so I figured I'd make something since I wasn't tired or hot. I made the chimichurri ahead of time, so all I really had to do on Saturday was chop the bell pepper, thaw and cook the shrimp and make the grits.

1 cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp Smart Balance
1 red bell pepper, diced
12 oz. frozen shrimp, thawed in cold water
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup yellow grits
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a blender and set aside. (Can be used as a condiment in other dishes.)

Heat Smart Balance in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add thawed shrimp and cook until heated through, another 3-5 minutes. (Cook less if using pre-cooked shrimp.)

Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil and slowly stir in grits, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. Cook according to package directions (should be ready in about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in grated Parmesan. If grits are very thick, drain and stir any juices from the shrimp and pepper mixture into the pot containing the grits.

Spoon the grits onto a plate in either a shallow layer or with a well at the center. Add the chimichurri sauce next, then top with shrimp and peppers.

I made Steve a slightly smaller portion, since he tends not to be hungry for lunch until 2 p.m. or later (this was ready at 1:00) and he also had a very shaky hand from using the weed trimmer. This was a rare dish that turned out to be just the right amount for the two of us with no leftovers. If I make the chimichurri sauce again, I may substitute lemon for the vinegar, because I used slightly less than what the recipe called for but still found it a bit much. Maybe by substituting lemon the result will be more like shrimp scampi 'n grits?

Stay tuned for my next experiment!

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