Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Shrimp and Grits that will Change your Life

Or: What my Mother ate for her 57th Birthday

This is my Mom, Marsha.

 Also known as Momma, Mum, Mumsie, Marna and on very rare occasions, Mother.

She's pretty fantastic. I mean come on, she balances my checkbook! My beloved mother's birthday is December 29th and from what I understand as the youngest (and only girl!) child of three in a working class family, she got the present shaft. You know, the "oh here Marsha, it's your hybrid Christmas/Birthday Gift! yay!" Um, not yay people, especially when you are the youngest of three in a working class family.  So it has been my (and my dad-he started it!) mission to make all her birthdays as an adult exactly what she desires, or as close as possible.

Needless to say, when Mom requested a family dinner/seafood feast while my aunt and uncle (her oldest brother) were in town, I jumped on it. The only thing birthday girl requested was shrimp n' grits. I, of course, took it a step further.

The Menu
Cocktail: Key Lime Martini
Garden Salad with Oil Cured Olives
Smokey Shrimp and Grits with Spinach and Chives (inspired by this F&W recipe)
Lemon Roasted Salmon with Rosemary
Oven Roasted Okra
Dessert: Key Lime Pie 

Prep it:

Set the table. 

Cheers to the Birthday Girl! 



Giggle Fest! 

Pop, Mom, and Uncle Dave
Our family does love to laugh, so I get it honest. 

The details:

Key Lime Pie Martini: from the back of the Cuarenta y Tres Licor bottle. That's 43 if your espanol is a little rusty.

1 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz half & half
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Mix all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, serve up. Rim the glass with crushed graham crackers if you so desire. Birthday Girl didn't desire, so we had 'em naked!

Shrimp and Grits: I literally just followed the recipe. Yes, I know the Semi-Abnormal Gal followed a recipe...I didn't actually measure the spices of course, but the rest was to the T, whatever that means. (but tripled, fyi). Seriously my friends, you will never want to eat another bite of grits without adding sharp white cheddar, spinach and chives. The fresh chives gave a great crisp bite, the spinach kept things light and the cheese is strong and savory. I literally groaned aloud as I tasted them after stirring everything together.

Salmon: Rub fillets with olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Top with whole rosemary sprigs and thin lemon slices. Roast at 375 degrees F for ~30 minutes (this is based on weight, I had 1.5lbs of salmon total). Broil the last 5 minutes, until lemon begins to brown. (Discard aromatics before consumption!) The lemon keeps the fish from drying out, while balancing the strong flavors of both the salmon itself and the rosemary.

Okra: Toss with olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees F for ~25 minutes, stirring/shaking sheet every 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.

Key Lime Pie: Thanks Publix!

I truly enjoyed making this meal for my family. It is all about the fresh ingredients with a touch of love. And maybe I lick my fingers. But a chef never kisses the spoon and tells.
Love to all,
~the "hostess with the mostess who prefers to stay in the kitchen" gal, Jess


Small Town Girl said... Best Blogger Tips

This is too sweet! Looks delicious- I'm sure she loved it!

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