Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shrimp and Grits Breakfast Bake

I love egg casseroles for an easy, make-ahead breakfast dish. I was looking to develop something different for this year's Christmas morning, something I could still make-ahead but that would be a good, hearty, healthful and non-sweet breakfast. My boys are already sweet enough, and on Christmas morning, the last thing they need is sugar in their breakfast!

This shrimp and grits bake can be infinitely adapted to your family's tastes. You can use any cheese you wish, or omit it altogether. You can use the greens and red pepper the recipe calls for, or whatever vegetable you have on hand...or omit those too. Adapt away!

Shrimp and Grits Breakfast Bake

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup packed greens, chopped
1/2 cup white wine or broth
1 pound small shrimp
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup quick grits
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 ounces goat cheese

In a large skillet that has a lid, heat the oil to medium high. Add the onion, peppers and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and the peppers soften a bit. Add the 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Add the greens and the wine or broth. Stir in pan and then cover for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and stir well. Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and place the greens and pepper mixture in a bowl.

Meanwhile, coat the shrimp in cornstarch and dried thyme, tossing well. Add the shrimp to the still heated skillet (add an additional tablespoon to the skillet if needed)and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp is no longer gray. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.

Heat the 4 cups water and 1 cup grits in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer according to the package directions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Coat a 9x13 or similarly sized dish with cooking spray. Add half the grits to the bottom of the dish.

Top the grits with most of the greens and peppers and all the shrimp.

Top with remaining grits.

Sprinkle top with remaining greens and peppers on top, followed by the goat cheese.

In the morning:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Serves 8.

Merry Christmas All!

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