Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

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This recipe is sponsored by Almond Breeze

line Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

Summer is upon us! Almost, right? I’m just calling it a little early.

I’m finally starting to see fresh tomatoes and basil at the grocery store and HELLO OLD FRIENDS! it sure is good to see you again.

I am a big fan of shrimp and grits – I especially love breakfast shrimp and grits, which this is not, but I just got reminded of them right now as I write this out. Who’s to say this can’t be breakfasty? Toss a fried egg on top of this beauty and be on your merry breakfast way? Yeah, I’d totally do it.

I first had shrimp and grits, like, one year ago, so I have zero percent expertise when it comes to what shrimp and grits SHOULD really be like. But I know what I like to eat, and right now that is: tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, basil – did I already say that? shrimp, grits, and salt. I cannot get enough of savory, summery things these days.

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summer shrimp and grits 1 Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

Since we’re in this gluten free series, it’s kind of nice/fun/clever-feeling to have some carbs to build a meal around that do not involve wheat.

For example, GRITS. Good ol’ corn grits which are kind of reminiscent of a cross between corn meal and oatmeal and polenta, but in a savory, non-gross way. Did I just totally convince you?

This was my first time playing around with grits and I was pretty excited, in my basic self ways, to find that grits are easy to locate – we bought them at a regular, mainstream grocery store. And true to all good things in the world, they normally involve lots of cheese and butter and stuff, but since I am trying to keep this GF series relatively clean and also get my body relatively jump-starty for summer, I opted for a dairy free grits situation which was mind-bendingly good. Nothing even makes sense right now.

We use Almond Breeze – original, duh – for savory recipes, so I just heated the almondmilk (gently, people, GENTLY) and then whisked in the grits like you would normally do with regular milk. Instead of adding butter, I swirled in some good-quality olive oil and an extra pinch of salt. Honestly, guys, I love me some butter, but this magic was CREAMY! so creamy! and yummy. I am not going to vote anyone off the island for adding cheese, but I am also going to tell you that it is, in fact, very delicious as-is. Just almondmilk, grits, salt, and olive oil.

I sort of want someone to use an infused oil – garlic? rosemary? truffle oil? Can you even imagine the flavor/texture Grits Win that would happen? Mwah!

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summer shrimp and grits 5 Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

I hope that wherever you are in the world is a place where you can locate some of these high quality, fresh-and-clean summery ingredients so you can bring some garlic basil shrimp and grits into your life. And I hope no one in your family likes shrimp so that you can eat it all by yourself. Sharing is overrated.

Don’t forget about my idea for breakfast grits, k? Egg on top. Please report back.

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Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

  • Author:
  • e289icon alarm light purple Garlic Basil Shrimp and GritsPrep Time: 10 minutes
  • e289icon alarm light purple Garlic Basil Shrimp and GritsCook Time: 30 minutes
  • e289icon alarm light purple Garlic Basil Shrimp and GritsTotal Time: 40 minutes
  • 39e9icon fork knife light purple Garlic Basil Shrimp and GritsYield: 4


Shrimp and grits made summer-perfect with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and lots of garlic and olive oil. Bonus – these grits are creamy and dairy-free thanks to a little almondmilk.


  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 2 1/2 cups Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (divided)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • a handful of fresh basil, cut into ribbons


  1. GRITS: In a medium saucepan, bring the almondmilk to a near-boil (it’s ready when it’s steaming). Add the grits and 1 teaspoon salt and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and cover; let the grits cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping or scorching. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil (more to taste) and season with more salt as needed.
  2. SHRIMP: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 clove of the garlic. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook for a few minutes on each side until pink. Remove from heat.
  3. TOMATO SAUCE: In the same skillet, add the tomatoes, garlic, remaining olive oil. When the tomatoes start breaking apart and letting off their juices, add the chicken broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should thicken as you simmer it and reduce the heat. Add the 1 teaspoon salt, shrimp, and basil. Stir to combine.
  4. SERVE: Divide the grits between four bowls and top with the shrimp/sauce. You can top with additional basil or Parmesan cheese.


If you want a higher grits to shrimp ratio, I’d make double the amount of grits. Just depends on what you want more of – the shrimp, or the grits. 22771f44d Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits78f11f3fc Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

The grits will firm up as they cool – you can re-soften them with a little extra water or milk and a good strong whisk.

Recipe Card powered by tasty recipes Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

Thank you to Almond Breeze for making these shrimp and grits a reality!

The post Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

What it Was Like to Grow Up Around a Professional Cook

I don’t remember actually learning how to cook. Does anyone, really? If you’re taught at some point in your life, it’s something you then take for granted once you know how to do it—like walking, or reading, or tying your shoes.

I grew up surrounded by cooking. My mother is an autodidact, a professional caterer who never went to culinary school. She ran her business out of our kitchen. Mom learned the way precocious people do—by watching her mother, by studiously applying what she read in books— and by doing what most entrepreneurs do, which is apply a fake-it-til-you make it approach. When my mom started to get catering jobs as a recent Soviet immigrant in Worcester, Massachusetts, she was asked to make foods that she herself had never eaten before, like tuna salad, mac and cheese, and cream of broccoli soup (she had never even heard of broccoli). But she figured it out.

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Photo by James Ransom

And because my mom did all of the work of figuring it out, I never really bothered to. She is my font of food knowledge that is there 24-7, like a personal cooking hotline, to text or call for information basic (how to roast sweet potatoes) and advanced (what is the ultimate coffee cake?). And the knowledge that she passed down to me as a child gave me the foundation, and the foolhardy confidence, to become a food writer, which is how I earn my living .

I saw my mom do things that most home cooks don’t do. She made elaborate celebration cakes for weddings and special occasions, classic French confections that layered dacquoise, genoise, chocolate soufflé, coffee buttercream, raspberries and whipped cream. I watched her craft these creations from start to finish, from measuring and sifting dry ingredients on creased pieces of wax paper, to piping the decorations, which I’d stay up to witness if it happened late at night (it often did).

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Why I’m Getting Serious About Absorbing My Mom’s Cooking Lessons
by Gabriella Gershenson

I watched attentively. It was meditative, enticing, and, at times, suspenseful. But my interest was rooted in sugar lust. I sat in wait so I could lick the bowls, swipe errant drips of cream that fell onto the work surfaces, and eat the precious “scraps” that would result if my mom needed to shave off bits off the cake to even out its shape. I was like a human golden retriever.

Growing up around a professional cook gave me opportunities that I didn’t realize were opportunities. One thing that still amazes me is the way my mom trained my palate. (And the fact that she trained my palate.) When she would cook for clients, she often summoned me as a taster. I remember being called upon to determine the balance of flavors in spanakopita filling. She’d ask, “What does this need more of—nutmeg, pepper, salt, lemon?” I don’t think I even knew what nutmeg tasted like, but that’s how I learned.

Maybe I had a good sense of taste to start with, maybe my mom coaxed it out of me, or maybe the truth is in the middle. Whatever the case, I loved being asked my opinion. When I would give my mother the verdict, she took my word for it. She would taste the mixture, nod, then add more of whatever I had prescribed, give me another taste, and so it would go. She made me, a little person with virgin senses and zero power in the world, the arbiter of what was good.

Later on I realized how much these moments in the kitchen impacted my day to day existence. When people would come visit me in any city I lived in, whether it was Montreal, New York, or Somerville, Massachusetts, the way I showed them around would be to take them on marathon eating tours, to ply them with delicious morsels that I had spent years unearthing. Souvlaki, chocolate truffles, smoked meat sandwiches, bagels, baklava. Isn’t that how everyone experienced a place? Deliciousness was my happy place, no matter where I was.

Gabriella Gershenson is our latest Writer in Residence—please welcome her! She’ll be writing about what she’s learned—and hasn’t yet—from her mother in the coming weeks. And she’ll be cooking with her mom, live, on our Facebook this Thursday at 1:30 PM.

A Tip for Making Dried Mushrooms Silkier & Plumper

Sometimes, no matter how long you soak dehydrated mushrooms, and no matter how hot the water you use, they stay tough and chewy—it’s like gnawing on a car tire, or a stale piece of jerky.

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Photo by James Ransom

But in her cookbook Malaysia: Recipes From a Family Kitchen, Ping Coombes has a tip for silkier, lusher, fatter rehydrated mushrooms.

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After rehydrating dried shiitakes in water for two hours, she takes them out of the liquid, removes the stems, and marinates the caps in a little oil and sugar for another hour before using them. (In terms of the temperature of the soaking liquid, Coombes doesn’t specify—you can use hot water if you only have 10 or 20 minutes, but room temperature water will better preserve their flavor.)

And if you think that sounds like a long soak, Andrea Nguyen recommends even more planning ahead: She removes the stems of the shiitakes first, then soaks the caps in water for 8 hours. “Follow this long soak method and the rehydrated mushrooms will be deeply flavored, amazingly firm and velvety when cut,” she writes. “A long soak works wonders on cheapie dried shiitakes too!”

No matter which method you go by, follow these tips, too:

  • Give the mushrooms a good pre-soak rinse—they’re known to be gritty.
  • And avoid the grit that sinks to the bottom of the flavorful mushroom soaking liquid.
  • Use that liquid wherever you’d use a flavorful broth—but in moderation (it’s concentrated and might overpower your other ingredients).
  • Wipe your rehydrated mushrooms with a paper towel or clean dish cloth to remove any lingering dirt.

Once your mushrooms are plump and back to their full-sized selves, they’re ready to be sautéed, roasted, added to pastas, soups, and risottos, or mixed with cooked fresh mushrooms to give them even more ‘shroomy oomph (a.k.a. ‘shroomph?). Start here:

What’s your favorite way to use dehydrated mushrooms? Tell us in the comments below.

Pinterest Just Launched a "Shazam for Food"

One of the running gags on this season of HBO’s widely-adored Silicon Valley involves an app that sounds too farcically absurd to exist. It’s called SeeFood, billed as “the Shazam for Food.” The user interface is pretty straightforward; users can simply angle their phone’s camera at a dish in front of them and the app will summon that dish’s metadata, telling users what it is and displaying its nutritional information.

The characters soon realized their business plan had some gaping holes, so they instead retooled their app to be a hot dog recognition app. A totally-real version of “Not Hotdog,” created by HBO’s team, launched in the App Store concurrently with the episode’s airing. A similar, aggressively imperfect variant of SeeFood existed in 2011, well before Silicon Valley even hit airwaves; it failed. There’s a cottage industry of hyper-specific food apps in the App Store, believe it or not, for nearly every imaginable consumer imaginable: those hungry for oyster happy hours or curious about whether their watermelon is safe to eat.

It’s the gag that keeps on giving: Yesterday, Pinterest announced a number of updates to its technologies specifically focused on food. One was an easier search filter; another was to the option to see star-ratings from food sites across the web for certain recipes.

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The Ingredients You’ll Be Seeing More Of, According to Pinterest
by Sarah Jampel

The most compelling of these developments, though, was that Pinterest now gives users the option to point their “Lens” technology, a visual discovery tool that’s still in beta, towards a given dish. The Lens technology now has the capability to identify what that dish is, its ingredient makeup, and show you a few recipes for it so you can make it on your own.

The technology is by no means faultless—Lens was launched in February, and the company’s still working out kinks. The synchronicity between Silicon Valley and Pinterest’s actual product development is totally coincidental, Pinterest confirmed to The Verge yesterday.

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The Food Apps We *Wish* Existed
by Amanda Sims

I’d say this is further proof of Silicon Valley’s rather unsettling genius, one that muddies the line between the fictive and real. Welcome to 2017, where the joke is continually on us. Anyway, if you treat Pinterest as a hub for foraging for recipes, give this new toy a whirl.

Have any favorite food apps? Let us know in the comments.

27 Genius Recipes for the Grill

It’s official now: we’ve hit the season where all we want to do is cook and eat (and swim and cannonball) outside. And—nothing against burgers and steaks—but with the whole hot yawn of summer stretched out ahead, we could use a few more genius ways to work our grills. Here are 27.

Because, on your grill, you can cook entire dinners, and anything from whole beasts (within reason) to quick skewered bits. Your grill will make stars of the parts of vegetables you’d normally throw out. And don’t forget, the charcoal sort will give you not just smoke and a hot grate, but coals to cook in down below.

Speedy Romeo’s Grilled Pizza with Marinated Tomatoes & Ricotta

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Kevin Gillespie’s Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

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April Bloomfield’s Grilled Vegetable Vinaigrette

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Ian Knauer’s Sticky Balsamic Ribs

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Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby’s Grilled Sausage and Cornbread Salad

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EmilyC‘s Grilled Bread Salad with Broccoli Rabe and Summer Squash

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Suzanne Goin’s Grilled Pork Burgers

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Ignacio Mattos’ Grilled Favas

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melissav‘s Grilled (or Broiled) Oysters with Sriracha-Lime Butter

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lisina‘s Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

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Steven Raichlen’s Salt-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Grilled in Cloth (Lomo al Trapo)

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inpatskitchen‘s Alabama-Style Chicken Kebabs

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fiveandspice‘s Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream

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Amanda Hesser‘s Sugar Steak with Bourbon

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Anna Klinger’s Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette

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Amanda Hesser‘s Grilled Squid Salad with Lemon, Capers, and Parsley

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aargersi‘s Cedar Plank Grilled Loup de Mer (Sea Bass)

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Beth Kirby | local milk‘s Grilled Figs with Homemade Lavender Crème Fraîche

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Jamie Oliver’s Smoked Beets

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creamtea‘s Chicken Cutlets Grilled in Charmoula with Quick-Cured Lemon Confit

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enbe‘s Grilled Peanut Tofu

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lisina‘s Salt & Pepper Babyback Ribs

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Beth Kirby | local milk‘s Grilled Okra with Sriracha Lime Salt

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thirschfeld‘s Grilled Salsa

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Waverly‘s Chicken al Mattone with Thyme Pesto

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Gena Hamshaw‘s Black Bean and Corn Burgers

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thirschfeld‘s Grilled Bananas with Buttered Maple Sauce and English Almond Toffee

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Every week, Food52’s Creative Director Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius. Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what’s so smart about it) at [email protected].