Valentine's Day food is full of chocolate candies, cakes, souffles - chocolate anything, really.
But I say - why not start out the meal with a little romantic food?
Did you ever notice that shrimp are perfect half-heart shapes? Put two together and My Oh My - a perfect heart shape!
I have always wanted to make a southwest version of shrimp and grits, and so Valentine's Day seemed like the perfect chance. And , sorry Paula Deen. I love ya, Paula, but if you're reading this I just must say this: real grits have no flavor. None. Except butter and salt that you add. They are like eating purred styrofoam. So, I subbed cornmeal. The bright, spicy grilled shrimp pair perfectly with the creamy roasted southwest style polenta. here.
There are some fabulous takes on the classic southern dish out there: a vegetarian take on S&G - Artichokes and Grits, by No Recipes; check out these shrimp on grit cubes at Cookistry; Healthier S&G are at Jeanette's Healthy Living (and vote for her for best health blog while you're there!); and Biscuits and Such has Roasted Tomato S&G.And I love Maria's Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms!
I had to fend off the Hubs with a large wooden spoon while I was making this - he kept hanging around the pot of grits "tasting" them every 5 seconds. Yes, they are that good!
Make this dish for your sweetie and be prepared for lots of swooning - over you AND the food.
- 2 large jalapeno peppers
- A little cooking oil spray
- 2 cups water
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coarse grind cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 large uncooked shrimp
- a little of your favorite spie rub
- Cut jalalpenos in half and place on a baking sheet. Lightly spray with oil. Broil about 6 inches from heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until blackened. Pule in food processor until tiny bits.
- Bring water, milk and salt to a boil. Slowly stir in cornmeal. Simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. Stir in Jalapeno bits. Spread about ¾ cup of polenta on a salad plate.
- Spray shrimp with oil and sprinkle with spice rub. Broil until cooked on one side. Flip over and broil again until cooked through. Place on the polenta, in heart shapes.