On Saturday night I invited my friend Arlene over for a home cooked meal, movie watching (finally saw Silver Linings Playbook – AMAZING) and a ladies sleepover. (Tommy was in Maine).
For the main course I had excitedly decided to try Joy the Baker’s shrimp and grits recipe. A friend had recently raved about how easy and delicious this was to make on my recent Atlantic City trip. She was right about everything!
Backing up, for appetizers I kept things pretty simple: cheese and crackers and baby carrots and hummus.
For our cocktail choice of the night I took a go at following a recipe for a Tom Collins drink. Arlene wasn’t a fan of the drink. At first I wasn’t, but as the ice cubes diluted and the sugar (most likely) dissolved more I liked it more and more. I will probably make this drink again sometime in the near future, if only to use up the gin I bought specifically for this dinner. (Sorry no picture!)
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz sugar syrup
- Club soda
- Maraschino cherry
- Orange slice for garnish
- Pour the gin, lemon juice, and sugar syrup in a shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake thoroughly
- Pour the mixture from the shaker into a Collins glass.
- Top with club soda
- Drop a Maraschino cherry in the glass
- Garnish with an orange slice
And now for the main event!
Shrimp & Grits with Bacon and Cheese
4 cups water
1 cup stone ground grits (also known as polenta)
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined without the tails
6 slices bacon
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 large garlic clove, minced
Bring water to a boil. Add grits to the boiling water while whisking to prevent clumps. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Lower heat, bring to simmer and cover until water is absorbed. Follow the directions on your box of grits or polenta. Cooking times vary. Once thick, remove from heat and stir in butter and shredded cheese.
Rinse and pat shrimp dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet. When cooked through remove from the pan and add shrimp into the bacon grease pan. Cook until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice, bacon, scallions, garlic and parsley. Cook for another three minutes.
Spoon the grits into a serving bowl and top with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.
And finally for dessert, an assortment of Macaroons from The Sweet Lobby!