As I’ve mentioned before, I live in the South. Therefore, I eat grits. It’s pretty much a rule here, honestly. If you don’t eat them, the people at Waffle House give you dirty looks and your grandmother loudly talks about how she’ll have to make a special breakfast because ONE OF THE GRANDKIDS refuses to eat THE DELICIOUS GRITS that EVERYONE ELSE LOVES.
Of course, it helps that I, unlike my cousin— who is THAT GRANDKID WHO WON’T EAT GRITS— love grits. If you hate them, I promise it’s because you haven’t had them made right. A lot of people complain that they’re too watery or grainy— people, whoever is making you watery or grainy grits is doing it wrong, wrong, wrong. Give them another chance.
And, once you’ve accepted that grits can, indeed, be delicious, you should totally make this recipe. I got this from LifeInRecipes.com. Look at the picture below. Shrimp (one of the most protein dense foods on the planet) AND grits (as discussed, DELICIOUS)? Yes, please.
I was so, so excited to make this recipe, but was a little concerned— it seemed somewhat complex, and like it involved a lot of chopping. Truthfully, it didn’t. Basically, I diced up a tomato, cut some green onions, used frozen corn from a bag and pre-minced garlic. It took all of like…ten minutes. I even used frozen shrimp from the bag, making life even easier.
I used white cheddar and parmesan reggiano cheese because I didn’t have any asiago— if you hate shredding cheese or are lazy or just like white cheddar, you can buy it pre-shredded and bagged and it’d work just fine. Basically, you just need a slightly sharp cheese— so basic cheddar, mozzarella, or good ol’ Mexican Four Cheese Blend aren’t going to cut it. White cheddar, asagio, and the parmesan family can do the trick though.
I also used my recipe for grits, but you can use your own. I’d advise against microwave grits, and suggest that you use half milk, half water to cook them to get a creamier texture (it’s worth it). I actually use a recipe that involves using one cup of half and half to two cups of water, which makes them ultra rich— but also means I eat less of them.
Anyhow, this was delicious. DELICIOUS. Stupidly delicious. Honestly, it was better than I expected— I actually got up and used my fork to scrape the tiny bit of remaining tasso sauce out of the pan when I was through. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly— I had just gotten back from working out and was in no mood for measuring— and it turned out fine. I think this baby would be impossible to mess up, honestly.
Would I make it again? Oh yeah, without doubt. I would actually make this again both for myself and for company— it’s different enough to be interesting to house guests, but not so crazy that they might hate it. It was super filling, too— I made asparagus as a side, but barely touched it. Fewer side dish needs is always a plus in my book.
Are they easy to make? It is way, way easier than it looks. If you can make a stir fry, you can make this. Hell, if you can’t make a stirfry…well. Stick to sandwiches, maybe. Or go learn. Either one.
Is it healthy? That sort of depends on your personal definition of “health.” Because I used half and half in the grits AND the tasso sauce, it was a fairly high fat meal. That said, it also involved whole grains*, lots of protein, and a good serving of vegetables. If you’re watching fat, it would be totally reasonable to make the grits without the half and half, but the tasso sauce really needs it.
On a scale of one to chocolate cake, how delicious is it? 8— really loved this! Seriously, MAKE IT. You won’t regret it.
*Not all grits are whole grain— look for “stone ground” grits, which usually are. I highly recommend a brand called Logan Turnpike Mill, which I buy at Whole Foods— though they’re a GA company, so I don’t know if they’re carried nationwide or just at my Whole Foods since they’re local. Stone ground grits take a little longer to cook, so I started the grits, THEN started dicing tomatos/onions/preparing the shrimp and sauce.