Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shrimp 'n Grits Stuffed Peppers

Yep, that's right - just when you thought neither of those things could get any better, I rolled 'em into one.  This recipe took care of the last of this year's bumper crop of bell peppers; we had exactly one green and one red pepper remaining the fridge, so they both got cut in half and stuffed because we had them and because I wanted to make something incredibly simple while waiting for last night's Daily Show to come on.

The recipe was very off the cuff but went about like this:

2 cups salted water
1/2 cup yellow grits
2 tbsp Earth Balance
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
30-35 shrimp (approx. 7-8 per stuffed pepper), peeled and deveined
1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring water to a boil; reduce to medium, add 1 tbsp Earth Balance,and stir in grits once the Earth Balance has melted.  Stir regularly until grits thicken, then stir in grated Parmesan.  Turn off heat.

Meanwhile, heat remaining Earth Balance in another saucepan over medium heat and add shrimp.  Add cayenne pepper and cook until shrimp are pink.  Turn off heat.

Cut peppers in half and remove insides and seeds.  Fill pepper halves over the top with grits, top with shrimp and spoon any remaining pan juices over shrimp.

Place on a foil-lined baking pan, cover shrimp with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Turn off heat, uncover shrimp and leave in the oven for another 3-5 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle paprika over shrimp and serve.

This turned out pretty well, but I think next time I'll mix most of the shrimp into the grits, stick that in the oven and then garnish them with some more shrimp cooked separately as above.  Getting these off the pan and onto plates was tricky because the shrimp didn't want to stay in place.  Plus it might make the grits a little more flavorful; the taste of the cheese seemed to go away in the oven, as often happens with baked dishes unless the seasoning is adjusted.

However anything I cook turns out, I'm just glad for moments when I have time to breathe, cook and blog about it before I collapse on the sofa and fall asleep during Jeopardy.  Back soon with more...

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