This is my first attempt at any sort of southern/soul food. If we are judging success based on the amount of leftovers at the end of the meal, this would be a 10/10. I doubled the recipe, in a vain attempt to have food for Ben and I for the next couple days. By the end of the day, it was all gone. Also of note, if you are planning to make this meal, I would suggest doing so before the new year (if you are planning on any sort of weight-related resolutions). I’m not counting calories until 2014.
I found everything pretty easy to throw together. The only tricky part is the timing – The greens take 45 minutes, the shrimp 20 and the grits are instant. So planning is important if you want everything to be hot all at once.
Ingredient list: SHRIMP: 1 bottle of BBQ sauce, 1.5 packs of bacon, sliced in half, 1 lb of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined. GREENS: 1 bunch collard greens, washed, trimmed and chopped, 1 sliced shallot, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1.5 cups chicken broth. GRITS: 4 packets of instant grits, 1.5 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup half n’ half, 4 thinly sliced scallions, salt and pepper.
Next, prepare the bacon wrapped shrimp. In a bowl, toss the bacon strips in enough BBQ sauce to coat all the bacon. Wrap each shrimp in a slice of bacon and place on an oiled baking sheet. Tin foil was a good move here, because scraping off baked-on BBQ sauce is not a fun job. Dribble a little BBQ sauce over the top of the shrimp, and throw them into the oven at 425 degrees F for 20 or so minutes. You know they are done when the BBQ sauce is sizzling and they look almost crunchy.
After you put the shrimp in the oven, make the grits. Empty 4 packets of grits into a bowl, and heat 1 cup of water and 1 cup of half n’ half to a boil. Slowly mix in the water/cream mixture to the grits. Add in the shredded cheddar, butter and salt/pepper to taste. Kind of looks like bland porridge here, but trust me–these are full of flavor.
When the greens have completely wilted and absorbed all the liquid, and the bacon wrapped shrimp are done, it’s time to plate. Top the grits with the sliced scallions, and dig in. The grits, bacon and collards alone may not be particularly impressive, but get all 3 on your fork and take a bite. Soo gooood.
Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp with Cheddar Grits and Collard Greens
Serves 5, cook time 1 hour
- 1 bunch collard greens, washed trimmed and chopped
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 bottle BBQ sauce
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1.5 packs bacon, cut in half
- 4 packets instant grits
- 1 cup half n’ half
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large pan, saute the shallot and garlic in a little oil over medium heat, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in half the chicken broth and stir.
- Add in collard greens, the rest of the broth and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the greens are completely coated. Bring liquid to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cover for about 45 minutes, or until the greens are totally wilted and have absorbed all the liquid. Check and stir every 10 minutes or so.
- After you leave the greens to cook, prepare the bacon. Coat the bacon strips in BBQ sauce, and wrap each shrimp in a strip of bacon.
- Place the bacon wrapped shrimp on an oiled baking pan covered in foil, and pour a dollop of BBQ sauce onto each shrimp.
- Bake shrimp in the oven for about 20 minutes. When the bacon is hardened and crispy, and the BBQ sauce is sizzling, they are done.
- When the shrimp have been baking for about 10 minutes, Start on the grits. Empty 4 packets of instant grits into a medium sized bowl.
- In a pan, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup half n’ half. Bring to a boil.
- Slowly mix in the water and cream mixture with the grits a little at a time. Mix in the butter and shredded cheddar, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Take the greens off the heat, take the shrimp out of the oven, and top the grits with chopped scallions.