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Grace in the Kitchen

The South Meets Spain

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Smoky Shrimp and Grits // © Quentin Bacon

This healthier version of old-school Southern grits uses less cheese, no butter and adds iron-rich spinach. / © Quentin Bacon

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Shrimp and Grits is one of my favorite all-time dishes. If you're willing to forgo long-cooking grits in favor of quick (not instant) grits, the dish is not only rich, flavorful, creamy and delicious, it's also superfast. I developed this recipe as part of my column on New Southern Classics (Ham Steak with Red Eye Gravy, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Etouffee). This is one of those Southern comfort foods that can be ungodly rich, with tons of cream, butter and cheese. I lightened it up considerably by taking out the cream, paring back the butter and cheese (it's still pretty cheesy) and folding in baby spinach to add a nutitious punch. One of my favorite Spanish tapas dishes is gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic and oil). I sort of tweaked it a bit by adding smoked paprika, which stands in for smoky bacon, and spooned it over the grits. I'm not a huge calorie counter, though I do watch what I eat. This one never leaves me feeling anything but satisfied and guilt-free. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Fantastic Shrimp Dishes
Comforting Grits Recipes
Delicious Southern Recipes

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