Kiss My Grits!

I’m a child of 70’s and 80’s television. I fondly remember watching Happy Days and begging my parents to let me stay up just a half hour more to watch Laverne and Shirley. The TV we watched was mainly G rated stuff, but occasionally we were able to catch something a little more risqué.

One of those was the show Alice. Staring Linda Lavin, the show was about Alice, a waitress who works in Mel’s Diner. Most of the scenes were in the diner and the more memorable characters were other diner workers and patrons. One of them, Flo (acted by Polly Holiday) coined one of the most famous phrases in all of television “Kiss My Grits!”.

Being 7 years old, and a boy, this phrase instantly became part of my lexicon. When my brother would bother me – “kiss my grits”. When a parent would ask me to do something, I’d think “kiss my grits” and slowly comply. It wasn’t just me, the whole country took to the phrase. You could buy t-shirts and lunch boxes with the phrase. Today, while much less popular, it can still be found. In fact there is an annual fund-raiser to support cancer research called the Kiss My Grits cook off.

Not being a child of the south, grits were never part of my culinary experience so when I first heard of shrimp and grits, I was not overly excited. I finally tried it at a southern restaurant and found that it was a good combination.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

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The tart lemon and the creamy grits just work with the succulent shrimp.

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A few ingredients but most of them are spices.

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Cook your grits.

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They soak up quite a bit of liquid.

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I like the tails off as it makes it a much better dining experience.

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I’ll kiss these grits any time.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

prep 15 M ∙ cook 15 M ∙ makes 4 servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source

3/4 cup instant grits
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves: 4

Calories: 367

Total Fat: 12 grams

Saturated Fat: 7 grams

Protein: 34 grams

Total carbohydrates: 26 grams

Sugar: 0 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Cholesterol: 309 milligrams

Sodium: 904 milligrams


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Breakfast, Cheese3, Fruit 2, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Seafood, Southern

Author:The Ranting Chef

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4 Comments on “Kiss My Grits!”

  1. December 12, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Wow, what a flash back! Mel’s Diner. One of my favorite winter breakfast choices were grits and butter.


  2. jetr1
    December 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    My husband is from New Orleans and loves grits. He has not tried the lemon. We shall see. Looks good to me


  3. December 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Cooking the grits in a mixture of broth and cream rather than water makes for an even richer and tastier version.


  4. December 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Those were great shows and brought back wonderful memories! Your dish also looks great!!


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