Grilled Shrimp & Pepper Jack Grits

Oh, the things we sacrifice for good meals… calories, sticky fingers and stomachaches to name a few, and my least favorite –  touching slimy uncooked poultry or fish.

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A couple of weeks ago when we hosted my daughter’s two-tti fruity second birthday party, my mother-in-law came over to help me prep. One of the things I had her work on was putting the Hawaiian chicken skewers together. This of course entailed putting already-cubed raw chicken on a stick along with peppers and pineapples. Unbeknownst to me, my MIL despises handling raw meat, almost as much as she loathes changing our daughter’s dirty diapers (had to out you on that one, MIL). Midway through, she chuckled as she confessed that she must like me very much to be touching raw meat, especially the 8+ pounds I was having her put on a stick.

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Luckily, we finished putting the skewers together without causing her to run to the bathroom to hurl, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the skewers (SO worth it). I’m very thankful for her help that day. We definitely shared some good laughs, which took our minds off the fact that our hands were covered in animal slime.

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Last night, I found myself in a similar situation, but instead I was alone. Just me, a knife and a handful of shrimp that needed to be de-veined. YUCK! My worst nightmare. I got through it by counting down the amount of shrimp left in my head and knowing that at the end of it, I’d be able to enjoy a nice bowl of shrimp and grits with my family.

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That’s the thing about cooking, sometimes it’s gross and takes a lot of time and patience, but at the end of all the mess, you’re making something that brings you and other people happiness and that’s when memories are made. Such was the case last night- seeing my husband eat every last bite and hearing him express his delight (nearly) made up for the gagging I endured while cleaning the shrimp. People enjoying my food keeps me cooking and gives me the confidence to continue on this blogging journey.

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That’s the end of my heart-felt foodie rant. If you end up making this recipe, don’t forget to tag your photos with #marinamakeseats!

Grilled Shrimp & Pepper Jack Grits

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 16 large shrimp, shells removed and deveined (good luck!)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 ears of sweet corn
  • Butter and additional salt

Pepper Jack Grits

  • 2 cups of white corn grits
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese

Directions

Add the deveined shrimp, olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to a freezer back. Mix everything to combine and let the shrimp marinade for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

After the shrimp is done marinading, place them on wooden skewers and set aside. Set your grill to medium-high heat. When the grill is ready, add the ears of corn, roasting them until they’re slightly charred on all sides. Remove from the the grill, spread them with butter and sprinkle with salt. Cut the kernels from the cob and set aside.

While the corn is cooking, start the grits by boiling six cups of water in a pot. When the water starts to boil, add the dry grits and salt. Stir the grits constantly with a whisk until thickened. When thickened, add the butter and shredded cheese and stir to combine.

Last, but not least, add the shrimp skewers to the grill, cooking for about 2-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. To assemble, cover the bottom of the bowl with creamy grits and top with shrimp and a few sprinkles of roasted corn.

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