Garlic Honey Butter Shrimp and Truffle Cheddar Grits
October 7, 2020 by Nicole Collins
Food cravings are such a strange phenomenon.
It's crazy how the thought of tasting something can overwhelm you so much that you can't stop thinking about it.
The power of food, right?
I think I heard somewhere once that a lot of our cravings are just impulses. And, if you think about something that you're craving for more than 3 minutes, then it's a real craving. Otherwise, most of the time our “cravings” are fleeting and will pass if we don't indulge right away.
Someone might need to fact check me on that though. It's very possible that's completely made up.
I had a really strange craving recently. I had a strong, obsessive, 2 week long craving for something that I don't even like. Scallops. Don't ask me why. Don't ask me how. But, I just had to have scallops.
The more I thought about scallops, the more I wanted them. I started dreaming up all of these recipes I wanted to make using scallops. It was the strangest thing, because I don't, nor have I ever, liked scallops. I'll eat them if they're hiding in a seafood dish. But, I don't necessarily enjoy them.
But, I just had to have them!
So, I bought some frozen scallops, thawed and prepped them carefully, cooked them up, and made them with version 1 of today's recipe. And guess what? I STILL DON'T LIKE SCALLOPS.
I ate them (because I had to). And, it wasn't a struggle or anything. But, it wasn't pleasant either. And since today's recipe was one of the grand plans that I had for the scallops, I took the lesson learned, and reimagined the recipe using a protein that I KNOW that I love.
So today, we're making Garlic Honey Butter Shrimp with Truffle Cheddar Grits.
Let's talk shrimp. This shrimp is heavenly. It's sooooooo good. It's the perfect mix of garlicky sweetness with a little buttery richness.
First, we make a quick little marinade for the shrimp. Take some melted butter, freshly minced garlic, honey, and white wine; then whisk them together until everything is combined. We'll used half of the mix to marinate some peeled and deveined shrimp for about 10 mins. Then, we melt a little more butter in a non stick skillet, remove our shrimp from the marinade, let them start cooking, and pour the reserved mix over the shrimp to create a nice saucy situation. We could stop the recipe right here and be perfectly content. These shrimp are SOOOO delicious. But, why do that when things can get even better than they already are?
We're going to give our sweet and saucy shrimp a delicious bed of truffle cheddar grits to rest on. Start with some quick cooking grits, and whisk them into a boiling mix of milk and water. Once the grits finish cooking, which doesn't take more than 5-6 mins, we're going to whisk in a little butter, some shredded truffle cheddar cheese, and a pinch of truffle salt. We want that funky truffle flavor coming at us from all directions!
Now, truffle cheddar is one of those specialty ingredients that you may not be able to find everywhere. Oftentimes, you can find it at a more specialty grocery store, like Wegmans or The Fresh Market. Trader Joes usually has truffle cheddar available, as well. But pro tip, Aldi usually sells truffle cheddar once a year (around late fall/early winter); so I usually stock up and keep some in my freezer. That way I can have truffle cheddar at my fingertips whenever I want!
Once our grits are finished cooking, all that's left to do is assemble. This meal is pretty rich thanks to the cheesy grits and sweet, buttery shrimp. So, adding a little layer of fresh microgreens in between the grits and shrimp helps to add a little pop of freshness to the dish. And, they add some gorgeous color!
This meal feels so elegant and fancy. But honestly, it comes together in less than 20 mins. And, we're using some pretty humble and cost efficient ingredients, so splurging a little on truffle cheese and salt feels totally justifiable! And, you could totally season the grits with regular salt too if you only want to go extra on one ingredient instead of two. The grits are just as delicious, and you still get plenty of truffle flavor from the cheese.
Ok everyone! We've learned some very important things here today. 1. You'll never see any scallops here on The Yummy Muffin. And 2. Shrimp and grits can save any culinary disaster.
I hope you enjoy. And, let's eat!
Garlic Honey Butter Shrimp and Truffle Cheddar Grits
Serves: 2 Print
For the Garlic Honey Butter Shrimp:
½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dry white wine
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
For the Truffle Cheddar Grits:
1 cup water
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
½ cup quick cooking grits
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz truffle cheddar cheese, shredded
truffle salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
¼ cup microgreens, for garnish
Make the Shrimp: Melt 2 tbsp butter in a glass measuring cup, and allow to cool to room temperature. To the melted butter, add honey, garlic, wine, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Place the shrimp in a ziploc bag. Pour half of the marinade over the shrimp, and reserve the remaining mix. Remove the air from the bag, seal the bag, and move the shrimp around in the bag to coat in the marinade. Allow the shrimp to marinate for 10 mins on the countertop.
Melt remaining 1 tbsp butter in a non stick skillet over high heat. Remove shrimp from the marinade, and add to the pan once the butter in the skillet starts to foam. Cook for 2-3 mins on one side, and flip the shrimp. Pour the reserved, unused marinade over the shrimp, and cook for an additional 2-3 mins until the shrimp are opaque and the sauce has slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, make the Grits: Bring water and milk to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Slowly add grits while whisking. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5-6 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed, whisking every 1-2 minutes. Remove grits from heat. Add butter, cheese, and truffle salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk until cheese and butter are melted and fully combined. Taste for seasoning.
To serve, spoon grits into 2 bowls. Top with microgreens and shrimp, and drizzle over any sauce leftover in the pan. Serve immediately.
*Take note that there are different kinds of grits: stone ground, instant, quick cooking, etc. They all have different cook times. This recipe uses quick cooking grits.
*If you don't want to use wine in the marinade, you substitute lemon juice in the same quantity.
*Seasoning the grits with truffle salt really helps to amp up the truffle flavor. If you don't have any, you could also just season with plain salt. You'll still get the truffle flavor from the cheese.
*Make sure the butter has cooled down to room temp before you marinate the shrimp. We don't want the butter to be hot enough to start cooking the shrimp while it marinates.