foodie fridays: shrimp and grit squares

“You’ve got mail…”


There it is.

The email.


I knew it would be coming, but for some reason, I thought I had more time. More time to research. More time to truly troll the “Internets.” Time to confirm with Santa that I’ve been a good girl this year. Am I right, Santa? Please tell me so.

Yep. There it is in all it’s holiday glory. The email asking me for my Christmas list. And as suspected, I can’t hit reply. This comes as no surprise. I do this to myself every year. Mainly because I’m impatient and an impulse buyer. I mean really, who has time to wait for six months when you need that Marc Jacobs bag to go with your pink high-heels from Kate Spade? Fo’ reals.

So, I begrudgingly add my Christmas list to my never ending to-do list. Why can’t a Christmas list be simple? As a kid all I ever wanted was a Barbie doll and Cabbage Patch Baby. Easy peasy.

Even though I will be working on my Christmas list up until Christmas Eve, I do try and keep other things in my life simple. For instance, these shrimp and grit squares are the perfect winter appetizer or brunch centerpiece. Besides chilling the grits for a few hours, these bad boys come together in no time. Bacon, shrimp, and cheesy grits. Life doesn’t get much simpler, folks.

Unless you’re Santa trying to read your AOL inbox.

Shrimp and Grit Squares


for the polenta:
3 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon butter
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
for the shrimp:
6 pieces bacon, chopped
1/2 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and devained
2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
salt and pepper


for the polenta:
In large saucepan, bring water to a simmer. Pour in polenta and begin to whisk. Simmer until polenta begins to thicken about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cheese, butter, jalapeno, and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and transfer polenta to prepared baking sheet. Gently press the polenta evenly over the baking sheet. Cover baking sheet and chill for at least three hours. Then cut into 15 bite size squares. (The number of squares depends on how large you make them.)
Once the squares have been cut, preheat a skillet to medium-hight heat. Melt a tablespoon of butter and sear each side of the polenta until gold brown.
for the shrimp:
In a medium skillet, crisp bacon. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Saute shrimp in bacon renderings until slightly pink. About 1 minute on each side. Top a polenta square with 1 piece of shrimp, bacon, and tarragon. Serve with a tasty Bloody Mary!

recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

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