Real food, gluten-free meals, and eclectic music!
This recipe is a low-carb adaptation of Shrimp and Grits, and I have to say it worked pretty well! There are a lot of flavors here – first, in lieu of grits, a base of roasted cauliflower pureed with roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese. Then we top it off with wild-caught shrimp in a spicy sauce bursting with garlic, lemon, and oregano, plus a little bacon for a touch of smokiness. Yowsa! This is a great, hearty meal!
When you select your shrimp, try to find domestic, wild-caught shrimp. Farmed shrimp may contain growth hormones, antibiotics, or unhealthy chemicals. [Speaking of chemicals, as much as I feel for the plight of the shrimpers in the Gulf, I am probably not going to have any more Gulf shrimp in this lifetime. Thanks, BP, for poisoning our Gulf.] These shrimp came from U.S. Wellness Meats – wild caught off the Pacific Coast and flash frozen soon after harvesting. This is the second time I’ve added shrimp to my meat order from Wellness Meats and both times I’ve been impressed with their fresh taste. These shrimp have also been cleaned and shelled (except for the tail), and are ready for cooking as soon as you thaw them. When shopping locally, I look for wild Georgia shrimp! If you’re near a coast, you probably have some great local shrimp too.
This recipe has a LOT of garlic in it. Here’s a great tip, from Saveur.com, for quickly peeling a head of garlic that costs nothing and it really works! I’ve tried it a few times now – it saves time, and it gives you the opportunity to shake the dickens out of something.
Ingredients for 2-3 servings:
Lemon Garlic Shrimp:
First, mix up the marinade ingredients for the shrimp. Put the shrimp and the marinade in a resealable bag, mix it up well so all the shrimp have some marinade on them, and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
Preheat an oven to 400F. Place the cauliflower and garlic in a shallow roasting pan. Toss with enough olive oil to coat the pan and the vegetables. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove foil, and shake to mix up the vegetables for more even browning. Roast uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower and garlic are soft and lightly browned. Remove from oven.
Using a food processor, puree the cauliflower with a couple tablespoons of butter (or more). Add the Parmesan cheese and mix well. You want to end up with the cauliflower having the consistency of mashed potatoes or grits (fairly thick, not runny). If needed, add a drizzle of cream or broth if the cauliflower is too dense. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Place in a heat-proof bowl and keep warm.
In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside on paper towels until cool, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Add two tablespoons of butter to the bacon drippings in the pan, and heat until melted over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano, and saute for about a minute, stirring frequently. Stir in wine. Cook until liquid is reduced by half (will only take a few minutes), then add the shrimp. Cook, stirring frequently to turn the shrimp, until shrimp are pink and opaque on both sides. This should only take 3 or 4 minutes; do not overcook the shrimp or they will be rubbery! Stir in the lemon juice and remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the shrimp and sauce over the mashed cauliflower. Garnish with chopped bacon and fresh oregano.
Just because you can’t eat the seafood from the Gulf, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music! First up, the latest release from one of the creme of New Orleans bands, the Rebirth Brass Band with Rebirth of New Orleans. Another stellar release from this long-standing group, guaranteed to put the pep in your step and fill a dance floor.
One of the many great things about HBO’s Treme is the music, gathered here on Treme: Music From the HBO Original Series, Season 1. With Dr. John, Rebirth, Trombone Shorty and more, this is a great collection of Louisiana music!