Monday, May 15, 2017

Date Night: Thunder Storms

Temperatures have been really dropping off in the evenings and they’ve been accompanied by some of the best thunderstorms. Being from the midwest Mike and I have a deep love and appreciation for a good thunderstorm. Cooler temperatures, the smell of rain in the air, rolling thunder and lightning dancing across the sky. We find it pretty darn romantic and the perfect storm for a date night in.

Usually when there’s storms rolling in, we find comfort dishes to be our favorite. Depending on the season the dish can change. Sometimes its a hearty bowl of soup, meatloaf and homemade mashed potatoes, or even salmon cakes with macaroni and cheese. Those are all things we grew up having throughout the year and they’ve claimed our hearts as some of our favorite comfort dishes because they remind us of home. Since living on the east coast twice now and learning the way of each city we’ve come to appreciate good seafood comfort dishes we just never had in our landlocked state, at least not done well.

Here in North Carolina a few staples we’ve learned about include banana pudding, Carolina bbq, collard greens and shrimp + grits. I can’t get Mike on board with banana flavored anything and no one will be able to change these Kansas City bbq souls towards Carolina bbq. It’s just not going to happen. However, I adore collard greens and we both can’t get enough shrimp + grits. They’re so dang good, I just don’t think you’ll be able to deny them either.

We originally started with a recipe from Food Network Magazine and have tweaked and made it our own over the last couple years. It’s definitely one of our favorite comfort dishes for anytime of the year, but we especially love it for cozy nights in. We can’t go wrong with grits, shrimp, garlic and butter. Paired with a thunderstorm and we have a very romantic date night for the two of us!

Garlic Shrimp & Grits
3/4 cup Stone Ground Grits (we like Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Romano Cheese, shredded
3 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled + deveined
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
2 drops Lemon Oil or Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

Cook grits according to package directions. Once thicken, stir in cheeses and 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.

While grits cook, season shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, garlic, lemon oil and cayenne pepper. Cook until shrimp are pink. Remove from heat. 

To plate, divide grits among bowls, top with shrimp and garlic. Drizzle some of the butter from the shrimp skillet on top and sprinkle parsleys over everything. 

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