Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shrimp Again

A few months ago, I posted about my first experience with using seafood in a recipe. I have done it again folks: Made something with shrimp. I think my hesitation with using shrimp in any dish is always the cost. Not that shrimp is really any more expensive than beef or chicken, but the price tag of $6.99 per pound is enough to make me think twice.

I found this recipe out of my new favorite cookbook, Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2009. I love it because it's a year's worth of recipes from their magazine. Definitely worth the $35 price tag. That is the second time I have mentioned price in this entry. Hmmmmm.

The combination of ingredients seems a little strange and it was found in the creative twist to old fashioned casseroles. I don't know about you, but I have never heard of a shrimp and grits casserole. Is this a Southern dish maybe? Regardless, I wanted to try it.

Here's a confession though: Grits scare me. I have never eaten them thanks to a bad experience at a Waffle House in Pensacola, Florida. I was eating there years ago and saw the vat of nasty looking yellow grits. That killed any idea of ever eating grits. What changed? My latest motto: Branch out.

This was very easy to prepare. You have to stir the grits constantly, but that isn't horrible considering you are only cooking them for a few minutes. Here's another confession. Okay, two. I didn't use fresh herbs. I can't justify buying fresh considering how seldom I cook. So, I used dried. Second confession: I don't have an 11x7-inch baking pan. So instead, I used a Corningware casserole dish. Did either of these confessions effect the dish in any way? Well, not that I could tell.

The results were creamy, a little tangy from the cream cheese and extremely yummy! This is comfort food at its finest and who would have known that it was light? Yum.........I am already thinking of leftovers for tomorrow.

Shrimp and Grits Casserole
from: Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2009

2 cups reduced-fat milk (2%)
3/4 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 package (3 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, coarsley chopped
cooking spray
hot pepper sauce (optional)
* Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

* Combine milk and broth in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add grits and salt to a pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan, butter, and cream cheese. Stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Serve with hot pepper sauce if desired.