Kiss My Grits

True grits, more grits, fish, grits, and collards. Life is good where grits are swallered.
- Roy Blount, Jr.

As someone who grew up in the South, eating Southern food and learning to cook from a very Southern grandmother, I am very familiar with grits and am accustomed to having them served many different ways. When I began sharing meals on a regular basis with my husband, it alarmed me that he had rarely eaten grits - and more so, didn't enjoy them at all. I can certainly relate to that, as grits can be incredibly dull and bland. However, given the proper care and attention, they can certainly add to and enhance a meal.

Three years after that conversation, shrimp & grits is one of my husband's favorite meals. I guess it's the combination of crispy bacon, cheesy grits and spicy shrimp - a medley far too good to resist. The key is cooking the bacon until extra crisp, then sauteeing mushrooms, shrimp and garlic in the pan drippings, along with cajun seasoning and a dash of tobasco. Grits swirled with butter and shredded white cheddar serve as the creamy foundation to plump shrimp, tender mushrooms, and smoky bacon pieces. I usually finish this dish with chopped green onions but didn't have any on hand this time around. Nonetheless, this is a simple and comforting meal that shows grits as much more than an accompaniment to a traditional Southern breakfast.