Smoky Gouda Grits and Shrimp

Smoky Gouda Shrimp and Grits

We were in Pensacola recently for a long weekend. It was fun and relaxing! We went to the Crawfish Festival, met up with some old friends, visited a favorite antique shop, went to a few of our favorite restaurants and drove by our old house. Most were unchanged, except for some major road work in front of the subdivision and some horrendous apparatus on the back of my house! Yes, my house! We put everything we had in that house, completely changing the floor plan, going out to the site every day, & picking out every single thing that went into it. Miranda Lambert even wrote a song about it! If you’ve built a house, I’m sure you know. It made me a little homesick. I can still call it home, right? After all, there’s a piece of my heart in every city that I have ever lived. We have been fortunate to live in some outstanding places, and I have wonderful memories of each and everyone, not to mention awesome friends.

Our trip would not have been complete without a visit to Joe Patti’s! We loaded up the cooler and have been able to indulge in some wonderful seafood since we returned to the farm. I have taken a very simple Shrimp and Grits recipe and changed it up by using smoked Gouda. This recipe is fast and simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but serve it to guests at your next dinner party and they will be asking for the recipe.

Leftover smoked Gouda grits make a special breakfast treat. I like to heat the grits in the microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on high. Then stir in a small amount of water, the amount will depend on the amount of grits you have leftover. Warm another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes and top with a sprinkling of cooked and chopped bacon, chopped tomato, chopped scallion.

city grits

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Smoky Gouda Grits and Shrimp
Serves: 4
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 c. uncooked quick-cooking grits (not instant)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 c. (8-oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper, butter, and shredded Gouda. Stir until the cheese melts. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. While the grits are cooking, start cooking the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan.
  3. Cook shrimp in the same pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until almost pink, stirring occasionally. (I do this in batches)
  4. When all shrimp are to the almost pink stage, add all back to pan, if you have removed any to cook in batches. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chopped parsley, green onions, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in bacon.
  5. Spoon grits onto individual serving plates or shallow bowls; top with the shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.


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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

I would like to start my post today by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone up North affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Watching the coverage on TV has stirred up many emotions and memories of the first time a hurricane actually impacted my life.  We moved to Pensacola in May of 2004 and Hurricane Ivan hit in September.  I know that actually living through a disaster is nothing like watching it on television.  My heart goes out to you.
Now, on a lighter note…if you’re like me, you think of pumpkin as an ingredient in dishes such as pies, bars, or breads.  Anything sweet, but usually not savory dishes.  Initially, I really didn’t think this dish was something I would like.  Then, I  remembered seeing a sauce at Williams-Sonoma over the weekend…Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce.  I love anything Williams-Sonoma so I took a second look at the recipe.
This is my take of a recipe I found on Better Homes and Gardens website.  After reading reviews of their recipe I came up with this.  It is quite delicious!  In fact, I liked it before I baked it too.  So, serving it simply as a pasta sauce would be great.


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
  • 8 oz. dried penne or elbow pasta
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 6½ oz. goat Gouda cheese, grated
  • 3 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. snipped fresh sage
  • 2-3 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sage leaves, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
  3. For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and snipped sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to prepared dish.
  4. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, oil and Parmesan; sprinkle over pasta. If desired, top with a few sage leaves. Bake, uncovered, for 15 - 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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