Cajun Shrimp and “Grits”

This dish came out so good.  Frankly, I was quite surprised!  I essentially took my method for making shrimp scampi, added some Cajun spices to take it up a notch, topped with buttery Parmesan bread crumbs and served over a bed of seasoned cauli-rice.  Man………this is definitely a keeper!  My husband just ranted about his dinner tonight!  I confess it was one of the better shrimp dishes I’ve created in quite some time!  Provided you use an Induction-friendly bread for the bread crumbs, this is suitable for Atkins Induction and all other Atkins diet phases!  Just leave out the 2 T. white wine until Phase 2, please.  🙂

BASE INGREDIENTS:

4 T. unsalted butter

2 oz. yellow onion, slivered as thinly as possible

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 T. (1 fluid oz) white wine (omit if still in Atkins Induction Phase)

30 large peeled shrimp (I used pre-cooked, tail-on, but raw will work also)

CRUMB TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

2 slices plan-suitable low-carb bread, crumbed

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. chopped parsley

4 T. more unsalted melted butter

‘GRITS’ INGREDIENTS:

½ small head cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1/8 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

¼ tsp. (more if you like thinks spicy) my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend

1 c. Cheddar Cheese shreds

½ c. chopped green onions or chives

DIRECTIONS:  Begin by making the “grits” first.  Place the chunks of cauliflower and carrot in you food processor (or blender) and pulse until riced coarsely.  Scrape into microwavable bowl and cook on high for about 4-6 minutes or until no longer raw/hard (but not overly done)  Stir the spices in along with the green onions and cheese shreds.  Set aside while you make the rest of the layers.  In a large skillet (I used non-stick), over medium-high heat, melt one whole stick (8 T.) butter.  Carefully pour just half the melted butter into the bread crumb mixture and blend to moisten the crumbs evenly with the butter. Again, set the topping aside for now.

Preheat oven to BROIL.  In the 4 T. melted butter remaining in the skillet, add the slivered yellow onion and garlic.  Add cayenne and salt and continue to saute a couple more minutes to soften & caramelize them.  Add white wine and simmer 1-2 minutes only.   Spread mixture evenly in the skillet.  Scrape the cheesy grits mixture over the top of the caramelized onion mixture, spreading it evenly.  Next arrange the shrimp in a single layer, 2 concentric circles, tail out, placing shrimp fairly close together as they shrink during cooking.  If you end up with a few shrimp left out of the two circles, put those in the center, tail centered and pointing upwards.  That will look attractive for table presentation.

Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the shrimp.   When broiler is hot (450º-475º) pop skillet into broiler and broil until bread crumb topping is golden brown as shown above.  Shrimp cooks fast, so they should get properly done even if you are using raw shrimp. Those mounded in the center will cook the slowest, so check to insure they are properly cooked.

VARIATION:  You can construct this differently, by cooking the “grits” in a separate microwavable serving baking dish and cook the shrimp separately in the skillet.  Then simply top 1/3 portion of the “grits” on each of 3 plates and top with 1/3 the broiled shrimp mixture.  Your call on the construction method.  Will taste great either way.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains 10 shrimp & 1/3 the grits

643.6 cals, 52.5g fat, 15.8g carbs, 4.76 g fiber, 11.04g NET CARBS, 32.3g protein, 781mg sodium.  To reduce carbs, eliminate the carrot, reduce cheese & use 1 slice bread for crumb topping………or make it stretch for 4 servings. 🙂  )

 

 

 

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