Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Roasted Green Chiles and Charred Corn

My husband got to craving grits this week, so using a couple ears of sweet corn and Anaheim green chiles from the Medford Farmer's Market, I tried a spin on shrimp and grits. The sweetness of the beautiful charred corn balanced really nicely with the heat from the roasted green chiles. The grits, spiked with pepper jack cheese, are creamy and comforting.  The shrimp are sweet and tender. This is what comfort food is all about. 
Serves 2

1/2 lb shrimp, shelled
2 ears of corn, husks removed
1-2 Anaheim or Hatch green chiles (depending on your spice tolerance)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb butter
salt and pepper

2 cups water
1/2 cup quick-cooking grits (I use Quaker's Quick Grits in the blue canister)
~1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
2 Tb light cream (or milk)
2 Tb butter
salt and pepper

Rub the chiles and corn with a little bit of olive oil. Roast on a hot grill, turning occasionally, until the chiles are charred and blackened all around the corn is lightly charred. 
(Note: For those without grills, this can also be done using the flame of a gas stove burner or by placing them on a baking sheet under a hot broiler)
Place the blackened chiles in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let them sit for about 5 minutes. The steam will help loosen the skin on the chiles, making them easier to peel. 

While the chiles steam, cut the charred corn off of the cob. Then remove the chiles, peel off the charred skin, remove the stems and seeds, and finely chop the chiles.

Cook the grits according to the package directions. For Quaker's Quick Grits, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, slowly star in 1/2 cup of grits and a pinch of salt, then lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the grits cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted and hot, add the garlic to the pan, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Add the shrimp in an even layer across the skillet, avoiding overlap. After 2-3 minutes, once the shrimp are about half opaque, flip the shrimp over. Add the corn and chiles to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Toss everything to combine, and remove from the heat.

When the grits are done, remove from the heat, and stir in the butter, grated cheese, and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Spoon the grits onto a plate or shallow bowl, and top with the shrimp, green chiles, and corn.

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