Although I was raised in Texas, I didn’t really grew up with Southern cuisine. My dad is from Indiana and mom is from Venezuela so Southern food wasn’t cooked in our family kitchen. But I would get my fair share of fried okra, collards, chicken fried steak and other Southern goodies when I went ovet to my friends’ houses.

I didn’t truly appreciate Southern cuisine until I lived in South Carolina during one of my campaign jobs, a place where fantastic Southern cuisine was plentiful (and so was my waist line after 9 months of living and eating there). My short stint as a vegetarian ended also thanks to an event with pulled pork sandwiches. One thing I always was on the look out for especially when I visited Charleston was shrimp and grits. Over the years I have developed my own recipe for one of the best tastes from the South.

1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/3 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For Shrimp
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder

For Grits
1 cup stone ground grits
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 484 per serving

Cook grits according to package. They will cook while you make the shrimp portion of the meal. When done stir and cheese and allow to melt into grits.

Mix dry ingredients and dust the shrimp. Set aside.

Melt butter in medium saute pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook two minutes then add red peppers. Cook veggies until softened.

Add shrimp mixture and cook for two minutes. Pour in wine and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Scoop about a cup of grits onto a bowl. Add shrimp and sauce. Serve with biscuits or a salad. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Food for Thought:
-You can substitute quick grits if you don’t have access to stone ground. Do not use instant, they are soupy and gross. Stone ground are the best grits in my opinion.
-If I want more of a kick, I will add a teaspoon red pepper flakes to the mixture.