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I was finally able to dive into my “Cuisine Tonight For Two” – Fall 2013 magazine, that I picked up at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and literally I want to make everything featured.  Over the weekend I was craving Mexican food (typical Cali girl) but instead of going the usually route of tacos, or enchiladas, the Southwestern Grits in the vegetarian section of the magazine caught my eye.

My grandma on my dads side is from Louisiana while my grandma on my moms side is from Oklahoma so I grew up eating lots of grits, each cooked differently… (I’m partial to the grits from the true south), but these southwestern grits are the best of both words.  The consistency was more like the true south… creamy but not to creamy with lots of cheese, but with some Mexican flavorings of the west (perfect combination).  And since there was no way I was getting away with serving a completely vegetarian meal to my guy I added lime sautéed shrimp to the mix, which was the perfect addition, although still tasty and completely filling without as I experienced for lunch yesterday at work.

What you need: (recipe inspired by “Cuisine Tonight For Two” Magazine, all items * are additions, with slight additions to the method); serves 2

For the grits…

  • 2 tablespoons of water *
  • 1 1/2 cup Almond Milk *
  • 1/2 cup corn grits
  • 1/3 diced canned whole green chilled
  • 1/2 shredded monterey jack cheese
  • salt for taste

For the Beans…

  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 lime

For the Shrimp… *

  • 6-8 large shrimp, tails on
  • 1 tsp. garlic
  • 1 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a squeeze of lime juice

Directions:

For the grits…  A trick I learned from my grandma is to start by adding the water and a pinch of salt to the pan over high heat.. bring to a boil.  This helps the grits cook more thoroughly.  Reduce heat, then add grits and half of milk; continuously stir.  You want to keep stirring and as the grits thicken, gradually add more milk until all is added to the mixture.  The key to is keep stirring to prevent lumps.  Next add chiles.  Cook about 5 – 7 additional mins, stirring throughout.  Add cheese and a dash of salt.

For the beans... add garlic and vegetable oil to a sauté pan over medium heat for approx. 1 minute.  Add black beans, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper;  cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in water and reduce heat;  cook until water is nearly evaporated.  Add corn and cook an additional 2-3 minters.  Season with salt.

For shrimp… while beans are cooking add EVOO and garlic to a small sauté pan, cook about 2 min.  Pat shrimp dry, cover with salt, pepper, and lime juice;  add to pan.  Sauté on each side until shrimp are bright pink; about 2-3 minutes.

Style your plate… starting with the grits, topped with the beans, corn,  diced avocado, and a squeeze of lime.  Add shrimp to the top or side with an additional lime wedge.  Enjoy!

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