As adults we should never lose the child-like excitement of discovering new things. We should jump up and down,fling our arms about and whoop and holler.
Of course children can get away with acting this way,adults would certainly receive the curious stares of others.
I discovered two new things and when combined they granted the jumping up and down,arm flinging kind of excitement.
Let’s back up a moment. A while ago,by accident and frugality,I discovered Boursin cheese. While perusing the cheese case,looking for a sale on some of my favorite cheese,my eye caught a sign advertizing Boursin cheese for half off and attached to it was a coupon for an additional one dollar off. Never one to pass up a bargain(and an inexpensive way to try something new) I grabbed one of the small boxes. I’d seen Boursin cheese but never tasted it and at eight dollars for a tiny package I wasn’t curious.
I chose the cracked black pepper flavor. Spread on crackers it was good. It stayed in the refrigerator. When I had pretzels I’d scoop out a bit and dip the pretzels in-very good. One morning when I was craving something more savory than sweet,I spread some of the tangy softened cheese on a bagel-this was getting really good.
Since then I purchase the cheese whether on sale or not.Lucky for me it seems to go on sale often and always has a coupon attached.
The other part of my exciting discovery was stone-ground grits. I grew up on grits. The kind that comes in the cylindrical box with the quaker man on front.I’ve eaten these grits all of my life and never had to complain. I know all the praise of stone ground grits-they are true stone ground corn,they have a superior flavor and texture,they are much better than the supermarket standard. I wasn’t convinced or interested in seeking any out. In fact I was a little insulted. How dare anyone try to dis my childhood grits?
Well it seems for the right price my mind can be changed. I came across stone ground grits on sale and figured this was as good a time as any to try them out.
I must confess(sorry little cylindrical box) they are very good and very different from the grits I grew up eating.They have a pleasantly gritty texture and really do taste of corn and come in a cute little sack.
Alone these two-the cheese and grits-are good enough.
Shrimp and grits recipes are not scarce. They are all over and anyone can find a recipe that will satisfy their taste. I like my shrimp with a gravy-like sauce as opposed to just using the sauce from the oil or butter and seasonings left in the pan. The hearty sauce goes perfectly with the course grits. It reminds me of a light and quick ettouffe or gumbo. The pepper Boursin cheese in the grits compliments the saucy shrimp. Use more or less onions as you wish,but I find the onion flavor marries well with the shrimp and cheese grits.
Though the Boursin cheese has become a favorite and I do love the stone-ground grits,there is still room in my pantry for that cylindrical box with the quaker man on front.Knowing it is there and easily accessible is enough to keep me excited.
Recipe: shrimp and Boursin cheese grits
1 pound of medium-sized shrimp(shelled and deveined-leave in the refrigerator until ready to use)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
4 slices of thick cut bacon-diced small
1/2 medium-sized onion-diced small
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoons of flour
1/4 cup of beef,chicken,or seafood stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
few dashes of hot sauce
Directions for shrimp:
In a large pan add 1 Tablespoon of oil and all the bacon. Over medium heat cook the bacon until crisp being careful not to burn. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and put on paper towel lined plate.
Pour out the oil in the pan and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and cook until softened,about 2 minutes. Add the butter and heat with the onions until melted.Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Be sure to scrape the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock ,Worcestershire and hot sauce. Stir until slightly thickened. If it is too thick add a little water, a tablespoon at a time.
Add the shrimp and cook until no longer pink and the sauce is bubbly,about 3 minutes. Stir to coat all the shrimp with the sauce. Add the cooked bacon to the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper.Add more hot sauce if desired.
Serve over hot grits (see below)
Note: I did not include a recipe for the grits because I used stone ground grits which come with their own directions and take about an hour or more to cook. If you purchase stone ground grits follow the directions for them. I am aware that most will use the supermarket standard of grits which is perfectly fine. Cook them also to their specified directions.
Whatever method you choose add 3 big Tablespoons of pepper Boursin cheese to the grits once they have cooked fully and stir them in until the cheese is combined into the grits. You may add more butter and cheese to your liking if you wish.