Nuevo Latino Shrimp & Grits


My mom and her best friend, Debbie, traveled to North Carolina this weekend for beautiful weather, plentiful blooms and lots of gardening, wine drinking and good meals. All of my planters are now overflowing with colorful Spring flowers and my yard is prepared for a spring and summer full of friends and entertaining.

On Saturday night, Debbie made the most delicious roasted duck with pickled raisins, crisp salad and duck fat cooked potatoes! Hello, amazing. I’ll be getting creative with the boatload of duck fat leftover in my fridge.

On Sunday night I had to show gratitude to them with a spin on Shrimp and Grits. This recipe is from the latest Fine Cooking magazine. The photograph of the Latino Shrimp and Grits was striking – a green salsa over cheesy grits and chipotle marinated shrimp. The recipe is just a delicious as it looks. And, its surprisingly easy to make and fresh to eat! Save this for a night with friends – or even a fun brunch menu. Put this on your spring cooking list!

Nuevo Latino Shrimp & Grits, adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine

For the shrimp
  • 1 7-oz. can chipotles in adobo
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed for cooking
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. extra-jumbo (16 to 20 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on, if you like)
  • Chopped microgreens or chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
For the salsa verde
  • 1/2 lb. tomatillos (about 5 small), husked, rinsed with warm water, and quartered
  • 2 oz. fresh cilantro (about 1/2 bunch), tough stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeño, trimmed and sliced, with seeds, if you like heat
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the grits
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grits, preferably white and stone ground
  • 3 oz. manchego, coarsely grated (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 small poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Marinate the shrimp

In a blender or small food processor, purée the chipotles , oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, tossing the shrimp occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours.

Make the salsa

Put the tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbs. water in a blender, and pulse until combined. With the machine running, slowly add the oil and blend until combined. If the salsa is very thick, add up to another 2 Tbs. water.

Cook the grits

Bring 2-1/2 cups water with 1 tsp. salt to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the grits in a thin stream, and cook until the grits start to thicken a bit, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, adjusting the heat as necessary, and adding more water as needed 1/4 cup at a time, until the grits are thick and tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in the cheese, cream, butter, and poblanos. Season to taste with salt, and keep warm.

Cook the shrimp and serve

Remove the shrimp from the marinade.

Heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook, flipping once until just pink throughout, 4 to 5 minutes total. Remove immediately and keep the shrimp warm.

If the grits have thickened, add a little warm water to loosen them. Divide the grits among shallow bowls, and top with 2 to 3 Tbs. of the salsa verde and the shrimp. Garnish with the microgreens or cilantro, and serve.

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