Recipe adapted from Shrimp and Grits by Martha Nesbit, Bobby Flay and The Food Network
For our 25th wedding anniversary, Mark and I went to Tampa Bay, Florida for one week. We timed our trip to coincide with the Boston Red Sox coming to town to play the Tampa Bay Rays. Our seats at Tropicana Field were in the Whitney Bank Club, Tampa Bay’s luxury seats. It was our first experience with such splendor at a ballpark, and we loved it! You had the option of watching the game from the stands (sitting on a black leather seat cushion) or sitting in a huge leather club chair in the lounge, surrounded by flat screen t. v. s that broadcasted the game.
All-you-could-eat-or-drink was included with the price of the ticket. The food was served by chefs, varied, and delicious; everything from nachos, hot dogs and sloppy Joes to prime rib and pork loin. There was a coffee and dessert bar, and salads galore. One of the appetizers they served was Cajun Shrimp with Cheese Grits. Mark had never had grits before, but he wolfed them down like he had been eating them his whole life. I wanted to make this dish for Mark when we returned home, so I went in search of a similar recipe. Bobby Flay’s version really pumps up the flavor. Enjoy!
4 cups water
salt and pepper
1 cup grits ( I used instant grits, but either kind will work)
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zatarain’s Creole seasoning, to taste
1. Bring water to boil, add salt and pepper. Stir in grits, cook 5 minutes for instant grits and 20-25 minutes for regular grits.
2. Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese. Mix well and cover to keep hot until shrimp is done.
3.Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; remove bacon and place on paper towels to drain.
4. Add shrimp to grease, cook on low until the shrimp turns pink.
5. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, green onions, garlic and Creole Seasoning. Saute for 3 minutes.
6. Spoon grits into serving bowl, add shrimp mixture and serve immediately.
Before the Ballgame
My favorite player on the Red Sox was their catcher, #33 Jason Varitek.