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While on vacation last summer in Carolina Beach, I ordered the shrimp and grits the last evening of our vacation. Being a northerner I really didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t tried grits before, only because I don’t like the name. It really is an ugly word. Much to my delight it was super yummy! It was the best meal of our trip and I wished I’d had it every day. This version is healthy and easy. My kids however thought it too lemony, so you may want to tone down the lemon if you’re not a lemon lover. I thought it was perfect.

Lemon and Garlic Shrimp and Grits

3/4 cup instant grits
Course salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, (with or without tails, you decide)
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus wedges for serving
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from heat and keep covered.

While the grits are cooking start your shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and garlic, toss and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until shrimp are pink. Add the tomatoes and liquid and heat through for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley, stirring to coat the shrimp with the sauce.

Divide the grits in 4 shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Serves 4

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