In spite of being a lifetime nomad, I have roots from the deep south, so, I am a total sucker for grits served up any way. (Except the soupy, runny Army kind.) One of my absolute favorite meals to get when I am home is the “delicacy” of low-country shrimp and grits.
Unfortunately, grits are a corn product, and therefore not truly paleo or primal. Until recently I haven’t even considered them. But, just the other day it dawned on me that I could try to make “grits” from cauliflower. I was SO excited, because on the spot, my recipe and side dish options just opened wide up. You can do a lot of things with a little grit.
Here is what I did:
1 Head fresh cauliflower
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 c parmesan cheese (reduce or omit if you have dairy issues)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb medium shrimp, raw, peeled, deveined. (I bought a prepared bag of raw shrimp)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 c arrowroot powder
4 slices of bacon (I highly encourage you to just go on and cook up the whole package!)
1 cup sliced mushrooms OR diced bell pepper (I used red bell pepper here, but I prefer earthy mushrooms)
4 tsp bacon oil
1/4 c chopped green onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chicken broth
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp tabasco or to taste
Cut the head of cauliflower into quarters, remove the core. Place it in a food processor and pulse until it looks like grits. I had to do this in 2 batches.
Place the cauliflower grits in a pot. Add chicken broth, put lid on pot, and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain off excess liquid, toss with parmesan, salt and pepper.
While the cauliflower-grits are cooking, cook the bacon until crispy. I baked mine at 400 degrees. (Thanks for the tip, Kristen!) Reserve 4 tsp of the bacon drippings. Crumble the bacon.
Toss the raw shrimp in the arrowroot powder, salt and pepper and set aside.
Saute the mushrooms or peppers in the hot drippings until tender. Add the onion, saute 2 minutes. Add shrimp and garlic, saute 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring often to loosen particles from the bottom of the pan and help the mixture to thicken.
Spoon the shrimp mixture over the “grits” and top with crumbled bacon.
Move over Paula Deen.