Sauteed Summer Veggies and Bacon over Cheese Grits

Leftovers… seems to be the theme this week! I guess that’s not a bad thing, right?! Who wants to throw out the leftover bits of food in their fridge? Not me! I like to try to use it here and there before it goes bad! I freeze a lot of leftovers so I have time to use it. Sometimes on the weekend I copy what my mom used to do. I remember, when growing up, we used to have 1 day a week where all of the leftovers would come out of the fridge or freezer, be heated up, and that was our lunch or dinner. We didn’t want to waste good food! So these past few recipes have been me using up food from previous recipes this month. Works well!

This one I actually made for lunch! And I was able to whip it up really quick since I used leftovers!!

wpid-1433187233156.jpg

 

 

Ingredients:

3/4 to 1 cup of leftover (or fresh!) cheesy corn grits (or leftover polenta!)
1 small zucchini
1 large carrot
1 piece of bacon
handful of chopped baby spinach
1-2 TB unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
optional topping of parmesan cheese
1 TB chopped onion (I used some leftover onion I had storing in my freezer)

 

wpid-1433187162886.jpg

 

Directions:

Start out by chopping your carrots, and zucchini. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add your zucchini and carrots first. After they start to cook, add the onions and bacon and let the onions caramelize. While this is cooking, heat up your grits, either by cooking from scratch, or if you have leftovers  you add 2-3 TB of water (because the grits absorbs all of the liquid when it’s stored in the fridge) and microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth and creamy again. Place the grits into a small bowl or onto a small plate and set aside. At the last minute, when the veggies are slightly browned, but still have a bit of a crunch, toss the chopped spinach into the pan and let just slightly wilt. Pour the veggies over the grits and add parmesan cheese if so desired and serve (or eat!) immediately! Enjoy!

wpid-1433187294467.jpg

This dish is bright, colorful, crunchy, creamy and filling! Give this quick dish a try today!

And now, for the quote of the day:

#inspirational #quotes

Spicy Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Over Corn Cheesy Grits

I’ve been missing blogging! This last week after traveling, my grocery budget was VERY small, and we ate A LOT of leftovers. Sometimes that happens! Gotta clear out what we’ve got in the freezer and pantry. I am so thankful that we have that luxury too. So thankful!

So after using up a lot of leftovers I got to start fresh with my food planning! I did have a couple of things to finish up though: Andouille sausage and a bit of shrimp. I thought… why not combine those?? What can I put those on to make a filling and delicious dinner… because those 2 things by themselves, or even together isn’t quite filling enough… THEN, I found a bag of corn grits in my freezer! Voila! Dinner!

So, this dish doesn’t take that long at all, 30 min start to finish and dinner is on the table!

wpid-1433020626301.jpg

This serves 3-4 people (depending on size of servings)

Ingredients:

2 “links” andouille sausage (they usually come in a pack of 4. If it comes in a large single link, you could use just half… or use all of it and double the remainder of the recipe) sliced into “medallions” or small bite size pieces
1/2 pound of shrimp
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup corn grits
3/4 cup shredded cheddar or the mexican blend cheese
3-4 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
2 tsp cajun seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

wpid-1433020480887.jpg

You want to start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees (do not use convection if your oven has that option). Then, pour your chicken broth into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add your corn grits and cook to the directions on the packaging.

Once the grits have started, take the shrimp (I bake them from frozen) and place them onto a foil lined baking sheet. Make sure that if your baking sheet doesn’t have raised sides, to make your tin foil have the sides up to make sure none of the juices spill over in your oven. Lay the shrimp out onto the foil in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle the cajun seasoning generously over the shrimp and make sure they are evenly covered. Dot the tops with a bit of the butter (about 1 of the TB) and place into the oven and bake for 12-13 min (depending on the size of your shrimp).

When the grits are close to finished (usually takes 25 to 30 minutes for a thick and creamy consistency) and you are about to take the shrimp out of the oven, drizzle about 1 Tb olive oil into a skillet and place the andouille sausage into the heated oil in the pan. Cook until hot all the way thru and a bit browned.

When the grits are done, remove them from the heat and add 1-2 TB butter, and 1/2 cup of cheese and stir until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the grits immediately and top with some of the shrimp and sausage. Garnish with a sprinkle of cheese over top each bowl and enjoy the spicy flavorful heat!!!

wpid-1433020574427.jpg

As much as I usually don’t like anything spicy… this was SOOO GOOD! I didn’t think I liked grits either… but if this is what they are supposed to taste like, I’m sold! YUM!

Try this one for a spicy, warm, comforting dinner that’ll fill you right up!

And now, for the quote of the day:

❤️

Short Ribs – Served 2 Ways… and mighty good either way!!!

Shortribsongritsshortribsonpotatoes

Short Ribs, served on top of cheesy grits OR garlic, parmesan mashed potatoes…. You choose!!

I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows the other day, and someone made short ribs. I was thinking… short ribs?! I could do that, right? I have GOT to try that if they make it on a cooking show. They must be amazing!!! So, I found a recipe and adapted it to make it my own. And I have found out…. I LOVE short ribs! They were incredibly easy too!!! You could cook a roast the same way! LOVE! You could even do sirloin tips, etc similarly. Easy and quick recipe!

Ingredients (including grits AND potatoes… you can choose either though)

6-8 individual short ribs (or more depending on the size of your crowd! You want about 1-2 per person)
3-4 TB butter (4 if you want to top the ribs after serving with a bit of butter)
1 TB minced garlic
1/4 onion cut roughly (larger pieces)
1 cup red wine (I used an “Old Vine Zinfandel”) this is optional, you can just use beef broth; OR substitute with a dark beer
1 cup low sodium organic beef broth
4 carrots cut into large pieces
salt & pepper
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
3 TB quick cooking white grits (or yellow grits… your preference)
3/4 cup water (for grits)
5-6 red potatoes
2 TB milk
2 TB parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Place cast iron skillet (or normal skillet) on stove and heat up. Do not put oil in the skillet. While it is heating up, dry the short ribs with a paper towel, and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on all sides of the short ribs. Then, making sure the skillet is hot, sear the short ribs on all sides so they have a nice crust. Only about 30 seconds per side. Then, place into your crock pot. When you remove the short ribs from the pan, DO NOT dump any drippings from the pan. (You can also do this in a dutch oven baking at 350 for 3-4 hours). Put your crock pot on HIGH for cooking for 4-5 hours, put on LOW to cook for 7-8 hours. Add 1/4 cup of the beef broth to the skillet that you just finished searing the meat in. Then add the garlic and the onions to the skillet and stir into the simmering beef broth. Once that’s simmering, add 1/4 cup of the wine and a tsp of the worcestershire sauce and 1 TB of butter. Simmer that until it reduces by half. While that is simmering, add the remaining liquids into the crock pot and place a small amount of the butter onto the top of each of the short ribs. Once the liquid in the skillet has reduced, pour that into the crock pot and place the lid onto the crock pot.

Cook as directed above until the meat is about falling off of the bone…. And… if you want some gravy, just take about 1 cup of the drippings, place into a sauce pan, add a TB or a bit more of flour… Simmer and WHISK vigorously until thickened!

When it’s about time to serve the short ribs, you’ll want to make your sides. The wilted spinach in the above picture, all I did was sautee it in some of the “au jus” from the crock pot for about 2-3 min. Done. The carrots I also sauteed in the au jus, just for about 5-10 min until starting to soften.

The mashed potatoes was a version of a previous recipe of mine: https://dancinandcookininthekitchen.com/2014/06/08/crispy-coconut-encrusted-chicken-with-mashed-potatoes/

The grits, I just followed the instructions on the package for quick cooking grits. Once they were done, I removed from the heat and stirred in about 2 TB of shredded cheddar cheese. That’s it!

Serve up, and ENJOY!!! My hubby said “I’d order this in a restaurant, develop a craving for it, and then have to keep going back just to order it!”. So, I’d say it was a major success!!!

And, for the quote of the day:

e47fbd1816d21874a7a2e203bb9cfe40