With lighter days and warmer(ish) weather, it seems like we should be eating lighter foods, right? Kindasortamaybe?
I think I’m being lulled into the false sense of security that the impending 50F weekend is bringing me, but I’m going to run with it for now. However, if you’re not quite ready to jump feet first into light and bright foods, I’ve got the perfect meal that’s both: BBQ shrimp and grits.
I’ve made grits before, but that was before I had mom’s secret to cook them in the slow cooker. So, ignore those. I know this seems silly when five-minute grits are a thing, but trust me on this one. The first time I had these were with her awesome short ribs (I’m trying to secure this recipe…but keep forgetting), and I was shocked to learn that they contained no cheese, but were creamy enough to psych myself into thing they did. The secret is half stock (I used parmesan), half milk and five hours. Salt and pepper and a dash of hot sauce. That is it, but if you want to add cheese at the end, I will only encourage such behavior because cheese is seldom a bad move.
As for the BBQ part, this is actually a BBQ rub, not a sauce, that was thrown at me by Whiskey, an avid at-home-with-the-big-green-egg smoker. It’s a favorite of his, and it comes from Peace, Love, and Barbecue. It was really easy to throw together, and didn’t require any spices that I didn’t already have at home, or that would be hard to find. A jar full in my pantry, I’m now ready for all the grilling that will happen once the temps stay about 50F, hopefully coming at all of us in a few short months.
The shrimp are made happy with the rub, and then quick cooked on the stove with a bit of lime.
I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to marinate it in the fridge more than 15 minutes beforehand, but I can’t say I think it’d hurt either.
Yes, this is a LOT of liquid for the grits. It’s not a mistake. Trust!
Save those shrimp shells for stock!
Throw the grits in the slow cooker before you go off to work, and with 10 minutes to cook the shrimp (less, really), these BBQ shrimp and grits are quick and easy weeknight meal.
- For the BBQ rub
- 2 TB Hungarian paprika
- 2 TB smoked paprika
- 2 TB salt
- 2 TB granulated sugar
- 1 TB mustard powder
- 2 TB chili powder
- 2 TB cumin
- 1 TB black pepper
- 2 TB granulated garlic
- 1 TB cayenne pepper
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ cup grits (not quick cooking)
- 1 ½ cups chicken or shrimp stock
- 1 ½ cups milk (I used 2%)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
- Cheese, if you like
- Fresh herbs, optional
- To the slow cooker, add the grits, milk, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Let it cook for five hours on high until creamy. If adding cheese, fold it in.
- Mix together all the rub ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
- In a bowl, add the shrimp and liberally coat all of it with the BBQ rub. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
- When you’re ready to cook the shrimp, to a saute pan, add the oil. Over medium-high heat, add the shrimp. Stir occasionally until the shrimp starts to get pink. Add the lime juice, cover and let continue cooking until the shrimp are completely pink, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with the grits.
Written after one-too-many Moscow Mules.