Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

This Cheesy Shrimp and Grits is a recipe I threw together for breakfast courtesy of all the left over shrimp from the family Christmas dinner that wasn't meant to be. If I seem a little extra in this post, it's because the past two years has just about got on my last nerve. Hold your hand up if you are feeling my pain. I know I am not the only one. We are all dealing with it. Skip past the next four paragraphs to the skillet picture if you don't want to hear my rant.

Ahhh the holidays. With our blended family and the many layers of family Christmas dinners each member brings, it's sometimes a little challenging to get everyone together at the same time. We are a work around everyone kind of family. Month early, late, whatever. As long as we are all together! The past few years, thanks to that $%$^$^ COVID-19 and suppressed immune systems, some sort of illness has pretty much obliterated our family time in some form or fashion. Every year we set a date, make a menu, get the groceries, cook all day and wait with baited breath for that phone call you know is coming. We really thought Christmas 2021 was going to be better. Prime rib was ready to put in the oven, 7 lbs. of shrimp were thawed and RING!!!!!! Here it comes. Grandson 1 is running a fever (flu). Shortly after another call; son 1 is running a fever and feeling not so good (Negative everything, Covid a few days later). 

Plan B. While everyone is figuring what they have, we continue to cook and just plan on sending food and Christmas gifts home with the Moms in the sick households and proceed with the ones who can make it. This is becoming our new normal and I don't like it.

Flash forward to three hours later. Granddaughter who came to get food and goodies almost hits the floor as she is ready to leave! What? Could it be COVID, flu? Will we all have what she has? We are all being programmed to freak out at the first sight of a germ. 

Spoiler Alert: Stomach bug, which turns into flu four days later but all of us fared well and she recovered as well as son and grandson.

Christmas 2021 was really tough. My favorite Aunt passed away in August and my Mother in September. I was really needing and wanting that family connection with the kids and grandkids to help me focus on what I still had, not what I had lost. I had taken two weeks off from work to get refocused, grieve and come to terms with watching my Mother suffer through Alzheimers.

Back to the recipe. We had a lot of shrimp left over and needed to quickly eat it so this is why a breakfast dish came to mind. A glance in the pantry and I figured shrimp and grits would be perfect! Mom would have loved this recipe. She loved shrimp and this wasn't a spicy dish. You could make it spicy but this was served for breakfast so hard pass on the heat.

Add some liquid gold--aka bacon grease to your skillet.
Slice one sweet onion and saute in the bacon grease and about two tablespoons of butter.
Add some minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon or to suit your taste and a jar of roasted red peppers.
Once the onions are cooked, add shrimp to the skillet and heat through.
Fix 5-minute Quick Grits per directions on the package. Remove from heat.
Add a huge handful of shredded cheddar cheese and blend well.
Pop a stick of butter in the pan and let it melt.
Plate up in a nice bowl by making a bed of grits to rest a big spoonful of peppers, onions, and shrimp on top. Finish it with a little bit of shredded Parmesan Cheese. Because we had so many garlic rolls left over, I sliced them in half, added a touch of butter and pan toasted them to put on the side. Is that making lemonade when life hands you lemons or what?

On another note: The tablecloth shown is one my mother made (with matching cloth napkins) around 1972. I look forward to displaying this festive piece of my family history every year.


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