Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheesy Tomatillo Grits and Shrimp for Boat Club this month

I love grits, plain with some butter and syrup on top, or loaded with cheese and served alongside some fish.   I've even had leftover grits, fried and with jam on top.  That was a little strange however.     But I think I now have a dish in my repertoire that will be made again and again.

I would have followed this recipe which I got from Miz Helen's Country Cottage and she got from the Homesick Texan cookbook, but as I think I've said in the past, I live in a very small town and our little grocery store doesn't carry a lot of stuff.   And when you have to drive over 30 miles to the next largest town to get some items, you make do.   And I made do, with some rather nice results.

This recipe called for fresh tomatillo's, or canned.   Our grocery store doesn't carry fresh tomatillo's but they used to carry canned ones so I thought I was safe I could plan accordingly.  Well, gee, guess what, they don't carry that either, anymore.   So I improvised, and it worked out well.  I always have at least 2 cans of La Costena Green Mexican Salsa in my cupboard.  It goes great over Peggy's Paparito's.    So I used them in place of the tomatillo's the recipe called for.   I served the Cheesy Tomatillo Salsa Grits with some Lime Tequila shrimp.  

Recipe:  Cheesy Tomatillo Salsa Grits   Serves 6 people as a side

2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 1/3 cup grits
2 cans La Costena Green Salsa (7.76 oz can or 220 gram)
4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
4 oz. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Cook grits in the milk/water until done.  Always whisk the liquid as you're pouring in the grits, otherwise you can end up with little chunks of grits and you want it to be fairly smooth. 

 Then stir in the green tomatillo salsa,

let it heat through a little, then stir in the grated cheeses.

  Serve immediately with some Lime Tequila Shrimp.

Poaching liquid  for Lime Tequila Shrimp

2 pounds shrimp, in shell or shelled.
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons lightly cracked peppercorns
1 teaspoon or more to taste, cayenne pepper
1 bottle beer
1 lemon, quartered and juice squeezed into pot
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves

Prepare poaching liquid by letting it come to a boil and simmering it for a few minutes to release the spices into the water.   Avoid standing over the pot and inhaling the wonderful smell as the cayenne pepper can become rather strong.   Just keep your distance, not too far away.

Cooked Shrimp cooling on sheet
Add the shrimp to the boiling water, one third at a time.   Remove the shrimp after a couple of minutes, or when they start to float up and turn pink.

Place them on a baking sheet to cool down so you can peel them later if needed or desired.   Set them aside while poaching the rest of the shrimp.

Poached Shrimp

Lime Tequila Shrimp

2 lbs. Poached Shrimp (use above recipe or make your own)
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 oz. tequila (I use Hornito Sauza)
2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in pan, add shrimp, tequila, lime juice and cilantro.

Warm through for just a couple of minutes or less, then serve alongside the Tomatillo Salsa Grits.

Oh,  and there were other dishes last night at the Boat Club as well:

Kathy made some Pork Tenderloins with a totally yummy dipping sauce and some stuffed mushrooms.   The dipping sauce is basically marmalade melted in the microwave, mixed with some soy sauce.   She had some ginger marmalade here and, oh was it good.   This is a great dip for coconut shrimp as well.

We also had an awesome Potato Salad with fresh apples and dill.

 Tabouli, which I love.   I can't wait for my parsley plant to recover from the butterfly caterpillars feasting on it so I can make some Tabouli again.  This was so fresh tasting.
We also had Ham
And some peas and snaps with fresh cornbread.  ( I think I love the south, all the legume dishes I've learned to cook here)

You have to cook cornbread in an iron skillet.  Really, you do.  Otherwise you don't get that nice crust and the texture seems to come out all wrong as well.   This was some of the best cornbread I've had in a long time.
We also had some really great pickled cauliflower and beets.   Such a great accompaniment to the whole meal.

There is nothing quite as good as home pickled beets.  I think I could have eaten the whole dish all by myself.   I did practice some restraint however, I only ate some of it.
Can't forget my contribution either, here's the final Shrimp and Grits
Tequila Lime Shrimp

Cheesy Tomatillo Grits
As usual, great food, even better company and a good time was had by all.  
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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