Cheap Recipe: Southern Grits with Sea Scallops (Ingredient Challenge Winner!)

5 Oct

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

These grits finally made a believer out of me...

These grits finally made a believer out of me...

We have a winner from the Ingredient Challenge Contest! Congrats to Emily, whose ingredient (grits) was drawn for my ingredient challenge! And, so the rest of you know, in the coming week or two I am going to attempt to post recipes for ALL of the contest ingredients suggested! So keep checking back for yours!

Actually, during the drawing, my brain was saying, “Please don’t be the grits, please don’t be the grits…” because I’ve never eaten grits I liked. So, of course, Jamie drew that out of the box.

I told Hubby, who is also a firm non-grit-eater, and he mentioned that the only time he ever enjoyed them in his life were in a New Orleans brunch recipe that involved shrimp. I’d heard of lobster grits as well, so I thought perhaps seafood might be the way to go in my recipe.

I didn’t have any shrimp on hand at the house, but I did have

Scallops were a perfect pair with Southern-style grits.

Scallops were a perfect pair with Southern-style grits.

 half a pound of scallops leftover from another recipe. I decided they would do the trick. After thinking up some good companion ingredients for my recipe, I came up with a dish that, in the end, was quite tasty and satisfying. It would lend itself perfectly to a lovely breakfast, although we actually had them for dinner Saturday night.

The chopped onions, celery and parsley will equal about 1/4 cup each.

The chopped onions, celery and parsley will equal about 1/4 cup each.

Begin by warming most of 2 cans of chicken broth (reserve 1/4 of one can) with 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, chop 1 celery rib, 3 green onions, and a small bunch of fresh parsley (about 1/4 cup) into very small pieces. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in skillet until melted. Add remaining 1/4 can chicken broth to skillet and bring to simmer.

Add chopped celery/onions/parsley to skillet and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste. Saute until tender.

Saute chopped greens in the skillet for a couple of minutes.

Saute chopped greens in the skillet for a couple of minutes.

3/4 cup grits doesn't look like much dry, but it makes a LOT of cooked grits!

3/4 cup grits doesn't look like much dry, but it makes a LOT of cooked grits!

To boiling saucepan, add 3/4 cup grits; cover and reduce heat, stirring often. Simmer about 5 minutes. Add 4 ounces cream cheese and 2 tablespoons milk to grits and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until grits thicken and tenderize.

Add 1/2 lb. bay scallops to sauteed vegetable skillet; cook over medium high heat until scallops appear firm and well-cooked. Remove from heat.

Just before serving, add 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese to grits; stir well.

The scallops will turn a pinkish-tan when done.

The scallops will turn a pinkish-tan when done.

Cream cheese will thicken the texture of the grits.

Cream cheese will thicken the texture of the grits.

Divide grits into 2-3 bowls; spoon scallop sauce over each serving of grits. Serve immediately.

For other deviations on this flavor, I think it would be yummy to mix in creamed spinach or artichoke hearts or mushrooms with the scallop sauce. Mmmm…

Ever seen grits look this good before???

Ever seen grits look this good before???

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