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Shrimp, Collards, & Cheese Grits

My collards have come up! They’re green and beautiful and tender and perfect and I love them. I mean, I always love collards, but tender young collards are the best, and I’m giddy seeing my garden bed bursting with them.

shrimp and collards 4

 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy collards this year (second only to my holiday skillet of good fortune) is with bacon, onion, vinegar, shrimp, and a bit of apple cider vinegar. Throw them over a bowl of cheese grits and you’ll have my favorite meal of the season.

 

shrimp and collards 3

 

I’ve also taken to chopping my collards into ribbons, about 2″ long and 1/4″ thick, which I’ve determined (after many years of R&D) is the perfect size for cooked collards. This allows me to cook them in a skillet over medium heat with the rest of the ingredients for a relatively short amount of time, which means they aren’t plagued by sliminess or bitterness. And since collards are happiest when they’re paired with bacon and apple cider vinegar, this dish has it all.

 

shrimp and collards

 

Shrimp, Collards, & Cheese Grits

serves 4-6

1 lb bacon

2 tbsp butter

1 white onion

3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

10-12 large collards leaves

1 lb fresh shrimp, cleaned

grits:

3 cups yellow grits

6 cups whole milk

3 cups water or stock

1 tbsp sea salt

1/2 lb white cheddar cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

Chop your bacon and start in a skillet with butter over medium heat. Dice your onion and garlic and add to the skillet, stirring together. Cook for 20 minutes or until bacon has crisped slightly and onions have begun to caramelize. While your onions and bacon are cooking cut the ribs out of the kale and thinly slice into ribbons. Mix into skillet along with apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 15 minutes.

Bring your water, milk, and grits to a light boil. Stir in salt and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Mix in cheese and lemon juice and stir well.

Clean your shrimp well and stir into collards. Continue to cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink, 3-5 minutes.

Serve grits topped with a heaping scoop of collards and shrimp and enjoy!

 

 

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Lovely Internet 3.20.15

1. Cheers to Great Britain for preserving and protecting some of the remaining coral reef habitats. That is a bit of good coming from colonization!

2. This sounds like the perfect bourbon cocktail for Spring.

3. The vast majority of the body of work I created in college was alternative processes, specifically cyanotype. I have loved Anna Atkin’s work since I first set eyes on it, and it was awesome to see her featured by Google this week!

4. What a sweet love story.

5. Never trust a map.

6. This is eerily spot on! (especially because I am an 11) via Joanna

7. Unfortunately, stealing recipes is rampant in this online era.

8. How to brown butter.

9. We’ve been singing this song all week at school and I can’t get it out of my head.

10. Ah! Homemade limoncello!

 

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Watermelon Radish & Dandelion Green Salad

March is always the hardest month of the year for me. By March I’m stir crazy with winter and I’m itching for a change- a change in climate, a change in season, a change in dinner options. By March I find myself walking through the grocery store, desperately searching for food grown a little closer to home than Honduras or California, striking out week after week. Year after year I find myself in a food rut where my commitment to sustainable agriculture comes head to head with my total exhaustion with root vegetables. It gets to the point where I’m ready to just throw in the towel and shop exclusively from the frozen section of Trader Joe’s (because pastry puffs).

 

radish salad 3

 

In ways other than food, the past few months have been incredibly hard. I lost a friend, I’ve watched helplessly as another friend set out on an incredibly difficult journey, I’ve caught every bug and flu going through school… things in our lives have been in a state of constant upheaval. Thanks to the past month my students have started describing our days as caddywhompus. The dreary diet of late winter is insult to injury to everything else that has been going on, and I am ready for some big changes. Changes in weather, changes in health, changes in menu. Slowly but surely, it’s coming. The temperatures are rising, greenhouses are bursting with greens, and each day is a step forward. It’s almost Spring.

 

 

radish salad 2

 

Watermelon Radish and Dandelion Green Salad

2 bunches fresh dandelion greens

3 watermelon radishes

1/4 cup shaved sharp white cheddar cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or fire cider)

Chop dandelion greens and thinly slice radishes. Toss with shaved cheddar cheese, oil, and vinegar. Serve immediately.

 

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