Weather: the leaves are beginning to turn from yellow to brown and many are falling from the trees
What I’m listening to: a heavy Autumn wind and the creaking of the heater kicking on

I posted an Instagram photo (follow @alaskafromscratch) of this dish to my Facebook page and it generated several requests for the recipe. So, by popular demand, here is one surprisingly quick and very tasty plate of Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Grits.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp & Grits via Alaska from Scratch

Lemon Garlic Shrimp & Grits via Alaska from Scratch

You know those nights when you have absolutely no plan for dinner, no protein thawed from the freezer, and barely any time? This is the dish for those nights. I keep a large bag of  31-40 size, easy-peel, deveined, uncooked shrimp in the freezer (by all means use fresh if you have it!). They are the fastest thawing protein around. Put them in a bowl of cool running water and they are thawed in no time and the peeling is quick if you get the easy-peel. Plus, shrimp only take about 4-5 minutes to cook. Grits only take 5 minutes as well. And you have a southern comfort food masterpiece in less than 30 minutes.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp & Grits

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Adapted from [Food Network|http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/lemon-garlic-shrimp-and-grits-recipe/index.html]

Yields: 4 servings

  • For the Grits:
  • 3c water
  • 3/4c grits (the quick 5 minute variety)
  • 1/2t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1T butter
  • 1/4c half and half cream
  • 1/4c parmesan cheese
  • For the Shrimp:
  • 1-1/4lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, (I removed the tails, your preference)
  • 2T butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/8t cayenne pepper, or to taste, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 2T water
  • Juice of half a lemon, plus wedges for serving
  • 2T fresh parsley, chopped

To a large saucepan, add the water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, take your whisk in one hand and your grits in the other. Whisking continually, slowly pour in your grits (this is very important - you don't want lumpy grits!). Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until grits have thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, parmesan, and cream until smooth and creamy. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shrimp, garlic, and cayenne. Cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the water, lemon, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Portion out the grits into bowls (more cream or milk can be added if the grits tightened up while waiting- you want them creamy and loose). Then spoon the shrimp and its juices over top of the grits. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with a lemon wedge.

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