One cookbook I use often but never talk about is Skinnytaste by Gina Homolka. It's as much of a mainstay as Martha Stewart's Cooking School in my rotation. I love using Gina's creative recipes as a starting point for my own variations. I largely follow her shrimp and grits recipe, but I'll sub in what I have on hand at the time. This is a version I found scribbled on a notepad from January. It was probably my favorite variation to date.
shrimp and grits (based off of Skinnytaste)
for your grits:
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 cup milk (Whatever you have on hand. I used 1% for this one)
1/4 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shredded harvarti cheese
1-2 handfuls of any other cheese you have (I used a three cheddar blend)
1/2 tbsp butter
for your shrimp and broth:
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Old Bays seasoning (sorry, I don't measure this one)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 shallot, chopped
4 oz bacon, chopped
1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
2/3 cup vegetable broth
2 scallions, chopped
Start by cooking your grits. Bring the broth, milk, and water to a boil and add in the grits. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let the grits cook about 20-30 minutes, checking periodically to see if they need more water. Once they're done, add in the cheese, salt, and butter.
While the grits cook, work on the shrimp. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat and add the shrimp. Sprinkle them generously with Old Bay. Cook until the shrimp are pink (about 4 minutes), turning once. Set aside. Cook and drain the bacon, setting aside 1 tsp of the bacon fat. Cook the shallot in the bacon fat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add back in the shrimp and bacon, and add the canned tomatoes and broth. Cook everything together for 5-7 minutes. Serve over grits and top with scallions.