Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cold Weather on the Farm and in the Kitchen

I have now officially started feeding my goats in the evening.  For the past two days, I have been bombarded by guineas and chickens when I feed them in the morning.  It’s ridiculous, aren’t they supposed to be afraid of me?  Therefore, I am changing it up.  The milk goats will be fed in the evening when the birds go to roost, and I will continue to throw their corn out in the mornings.  Silly, isn’t it?  But that’s part of it.  It’s getting a lot colder here in Kentucky, time for me to put the herbs to bed for the winter.  I’ll rake leaves up and cover the herb beds this week.  We’ve already winterized the well house, or I should say my husband and father-in-law did.  And next month I’ll start a few spring goodies in the greenhouse.  It’s always nice to get a head start.  We’re lucky that since hunting season is still going, we’ve had a lot of fresh meat to put up.  This year I plan to attempt rabbit sausage.  I’m excited about it; I’ve already planned to possibly add sage or rosemary?  Not sure, yet.  With this time of the year also come hearty dinners for the family.  I’m excited to share this shrimp and grits recipe.  Even though we are located in Western Kentucky, I love Cajun-style cuisine.  My dad worked for the union when I was growing up and we moved around a lot.  For a while, we lived in Louisiana; my mother hated it.  She loved the sights, but disliked the unfamiliarity of it with the food and language.  She learned to absolutely love the food and still continues to favor red beans and rice to this day.   I, also, love anything with rice and beans, and anything truly southern; which is exactly what shrimp and grits is to me.  My husband didn’t grow up eating a lot of the food that he now enjoys, my children will definitely be able to say that we went for it with eclectic, ethnic, and traditional foods. 

Shrimp & Grits

1 lb shrimp cleaned, deveined, I cut the tails off
¾ cups grits
1 ½ cups water or stock
1 ½ cups milk or heavy cream plus extra if needed.
2 tbs butter divided
¼ tsp salt
1 small onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 small tomato seeded and chopped
2 cups shredded cheese
Cajun seasoning or make your own

1 tbs butter to skillet to cook onions and peppers until a little more than translucent.  Add seasoning to shrimp and coat well, set aside.  Add water or stock to pot and bring to boil, add grits, milk, and butter while continuously stirring.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook 5 minutes or until thickened.  Add shredded cheese and stir until combined and cheese melted. May need to add extra milk or cream to keep desired consistency.  Add shrimp and chopped tomatoes to onions and peppers and cook until shrimp is just done
( pink and starts to curl).  Spoon cheesy grits into bowl and add desired shrimp mixture and enjoy.