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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

'Yanked' Smoky, Spicy Shrimp Grits

Polenta, Grits or Mush? If you are a Yankee, it would be mush(as it has for generations). From the South? Than grits would be in front of you. Dining in Italy? Polenta is the talk of the town there. Here in New England, cornmeal is yellow and is used extensively in many savory and sweet dishes. The grain is finer than the while corn that is dried in the South. Grits, that Southern cornmeal, is also larger grained and more coarsely ground, although you can find fine, medium and large grind for both dried corn products.

Now "what about hominy grits?" you ask? Contemporarily, hominy is the same as corn, but years ago, it referred to a special process in which lye was used to soften the husk and germ for easier removal.

I happen to love all types of corn products, regardless of its' nomenclature, although plain grits are a bit too bland for my Yankee palate.(I will see some emails about this, I am sure) Even though I have tried it with butter, salt, pepper, milk, sugar, red-eye gravy(my favorite until now), certain proteins and fish, I still find the taste rather blah. So I decided to 'Yank' this Southern mainstay to make it more pleasing to the taste bud by adding some of these ingredients together.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 1 cup(s) instant/quick grits*
  • 3 cup(s) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 slices pepper bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoon(s) minced onion
  • 8 ounce(s) Maine(or salad) shrimp
  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 1/4 cup(s) whole milk, half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2 (8-ounce) jar roasted bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup(s) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

'Yanked' Smoky, Spicy Shrimp Grits Directions

  1. Following package directions, prepare the grits using chicken or vegetable broth instead of water.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bacon and onion in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the bacon is the crispness you enjoy. Carefully strain to remove fat and add the shrimp. cook 1 minute, or until shrimp is just done.
  3. Add the chopped peppers and stir until combined. Remove shrimp/bacon mixture from heat. Gently add the grits to the skillet along with the milk and cheese, stir until mixed well and the cheese has begun to melt. Serve immediately.
  4. *If you don't want to take the easy route, buy the coarser grind, but it will take about 30 minutes to prepare. You can also use yellow or white, regular grind, cornmeal as well.
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