It’s a proven fact that as a child I hated corn. Corn on the cob, corn niblets and don’t even get me started on corn ice cream. Maybe it was based on the fact that I had awful teeth which led me to braces and unfortunately corn wasn’t the best food to eat when you had a mouth full of steel. So anything even remotely related to corn was a huge turnoff. But due to the miracles of growing up — and also maybe that I shed my braces — I grew to love corn. Even corn tortillas (which I initially shunned) is now preferred over the flour variety. Don’t get me started on corn meal crust pizza — it’s amazing.
Just recently I discovered corn grits. Grits are corn meal’s coarser ground cousin and the official prepared state food of Georgia! When it’s cooked with milk and cheese is added, the result is a rich dish that pairs well with crumbled sausage and shrimp. The sausage in this recipe can easily be replaced with chopped, crispy bacon. Plus one cup of uncooked grits equals four huge belly busting servings. Grits are cheap, warms you to the bone and easy to whip up.
As for corn ice cream, I’m still not sold on that idea.
Shrimp and Grits with Sausage
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups milk
3 cups water
1 cup yellow corn grits
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup green onions, chopped – optional
Add the butter and olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, turn the heat to high and add the milk and water. Bring to a boil and slowly add in the grits. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes. Grits should thick and liquid will be decreased when done. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Add the sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break apart the sausage with spatula and cooked until brown. Remove from heat, drain sausage and set sausage aside.
Using same skillet, place over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When olive oil is heated, add the shrimp. Cook until pink, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Place grits in a bowl and top with shrimp, crumbled sausage and chopped green onion.