Summer is upon us! Almost, right? I’m just calling it a little early.
I’m finally starting to see fresh tomatoes and basil at the grocery store and HELLO OLD FRIENDS! it sure is good to see you again.
I am a big fan of shrimp and grits – I especially love breakfast shrimp and grits, which this is not, but I just got reminded of them right now as I write this out. Who’s to say this can’t be breakfasty? Toss a fried egg on top of this beauty and be on your merry breakfast way? Yeah, I’d totally do it.
I first had shrimp and grits, like, one year ago, so I have zero percent expertise when it comes to what shrimp and grits SHOULD really be like. But I know what I like to eat, and right now that is: tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, basil – did I already say that? shrimp, grits, and salt. I cannot get enough of savory, summery things these days.
Since we’re in this gluten free series, it’s kind of nice/fun/clever-feeling to have some carbs to build a meal around that do not involve wheat.
For example, GRITS. Good ol’ corn grits which are kind of reminiscent of a cross between corn meal and oatmeal and polenta, but in a savory, non-gross way. Did I just totally convince you?
This was my first time playing around with grits and I was pretty excited, in my basic self ways, to find that grits are easy to locate – we bought them at a regular, mainstream grocery store. And true to all good things in the world, they normally involve lots of cheese and butter and stuff, but since I am trying to keep this GF series relatively clean and also get my body relatively jump-starty for summer, I opted for a dairy free grits situation which was mind-bendingly good. Nothing even makes sense right now.
We use Almond Breeze – original, duh – for savory recipes, so I just heated the almondmilk (gently, people, GENTLY) and then whisked in the grits like you would normally do with regular milk. Instead of adding butter, I swirled in some good-quality olive oil and an extra pinch of salt. Honestly, guys, I love me some butter, but this magic was CREAMY! so creamy! and yummy. I am not going to vote anyone off the island for adding cheese, but I am also going to tell you that it is, in fact, very delicious as-is. Just almondmilk, grits, salt, and olive oil.
I sort of want someone to use an infused oil – garlic? rosemary? truffle oil? Can you even imagine the flavor/texture Grits Win that would happen? Mwah!
I hope that wherever you are in the world is a place where you can locate some of these high quality, fresh-and-clean summery ingredients so you can bring some garlic basil shrimp and grits into your life. And I hope no one in your family likes shrimp so that you can eat it all by yourself. Sharing is overrated.
Don’t forget about my idea for breakfast grits, k? Egg on top. Please report back.
GRITS: In a medium saucepan, bring the almondmilk to a near-boil (it’s ready when it’s steaming). Add the grits and 1 teaspoon salt and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and cover; let the grits cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping or scorching. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil (more to taste) and season with more salt as needed.
SHRIMP: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 clove of the garlic. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook for a few minutes on each side until pink. Remove from heat.
TOMATO SAUCE: In the same skillet, add the tomatoes, garlic, remaining olive oil. When the tomatoes start breaking apart and letting off their juices, add the chicken broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should thicken as you simmer it and reduce the heat. Add the 1 teaspoon salt, shrimp, and basil. Stir to combine.
SERVE: Divide the grits between four bowls and top with the shrimp/sauce. You can top with additional basil or Parmesan cheese.
If you want a higher grits to shrimp ratio, I’d make double the amount of grits. Just depends on what you want more of – the shrimp, or the grits.
The grits will firm up as they cool – you can re-soften them with a little extra water or milk and a good strong whisk.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Keywords: shrimp and grits, basil shrimp, garlic basil shrimp
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Thank you to Almond Breeze for making these shrimp and grits a reality!