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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Delicious Cheesy Grits & BBQ Shrimp with homemade BBQ sauce!

My sister pointed out to me that I was lacking a cheesy grits recipe on my blog.  Grits, made from a coarse cornmeal, are naturally gluten-free.   I have posted a tasty polenta recipe we love, but cheesy grits are definitely something that needed it's very own recipe!  BBQ shrimp (made either on the BBQ or in the oven if your BBQ is covered in snow) are a perfect accompaniment to fresh, homemade grits.  Served alongside a salad and it's a delicious meal.  Enjoy!

Cheesy Grits and BBQ Shrimp with homemade BBQ sauce, served with salad on the side. Yum! 

Delicious Cheesy Grits & BBQ Shrimp (with homemade BBQ sauce!)
Serves 6

Prepare Homemade BBQ Sauce (can be made in advance and refrigerated up to a week): (or have your own favorite BBQ sauce at the ready)

Cook over medium heat ~ 5 minutes:
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced finely

Add and cook ~1 minute:
2 tsp minced garlic

Mix in:
1 cup tomato sauce
6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried ground mustard
pinch cloves
salt & pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each - adding a little extra pepper at the end)

Simmer over low to medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  BBQ sauce will thicken as it cooks.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 1 week.
My batch of BBQ sauce - a little over 1 1/2 cups after simmering.

Delicious Cheesy Grits
Preheat oven to 425 F or prepare your BBQ to heat (and/or cook) shrimp.

Bring to a boil:
4 cups chicken broth/stock (Asian mushroom seasoning works nicely in lieu of broth/stock)

Add, then lower heat to medium-low to cook:
1 cup grits (I used white grits, but yellow or white are both fine. Just don't use quick-cooking grits).
3/4 tsp garlic powder

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly for 20 minutes. Start cooking shrimp (instructions below) when there are about 5-10 minutes remaining on your grits, so everything finishes at the same time.

After 20 minutes, grits will be tender at this point and the mixture will have thickened.
Remove grits from heat.  Stir in the following:
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 - 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (sharp cheddar, Mexican cheese blend, cheddar blend)
salt & pepper, to taste (i use more pepper than salt, because of the salt in the butter and cheese)

Serve immediately with BBQ shrimp, below.
Cheesy Grits - Is there a way to take a nice picture of the entire pot?  I'm not sure there is, but they were wonderfully creamy and delicious.

BBQ Shrimp
You can use either the cooked shrimp or raw shrimp (allowing longer cooking time).  I like to use the peeled, deveined, pre-cooked shrimp bought frozen.  I thaw it and then use it as directed below:

Spread shrimp on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with BBQ sauce.  Bake at 425 F for about 5-7 minutes, until hot through and BBQ sauce is bubbling nicely.
Skewer shrimps for the BBQ or put them in a BBQ-proof cooking tray.  Heat on the BBQ, brushing a few times with additional sauce, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with cheesy grits and extra BBQ sauce on the side.  Nice with a big side salad, too!  Enjoy! 

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