Monday, May 28, 2012

Shrimp and True Grits

My mother and I vacationed on Virginia's Eastern Shore on a lovely little island called Chincoteague. Wild ponies run free on Assateaque, the neighboring island, and each July there are numerous events centered around the pony swim. Misty of Chiconteague, based on the famous Assoteague pony, was also filmed on the island in the 1960's.

But I really just chose the place because it seemed like it wouldn't be terribly crowded and felt it safe to assume fresh seafood would be available at all times.

We decided instead of eating out the entire stay we would prepare a few meals at the cottage. I was pleasantly and absolutely stunned to find such affordable accommodations. The cottage at The Seashell Motel were more than worth the price. We essentially stayed in a small house for $88 a night. The kitchen was stocked with a coffee maker, pots and pans, toaster, microwave, refrigerator, and a grill and picnic table out back.

I was a little disappointed the wireless connection did not work in the rooms but besides that, and a slight musty odor (I was prepared with Glade room spray) I was very happy with the accommodations.

We tried a few restaurants but I was the most impressed with Captain Zack's Seafood Carryout. I ordered the crab quesadillas and they came with chips and a pickle. Mom ordered clams and they included corn on the cob. The food was delicious.

At Howard Gary Seafood (another restaurant that sells seafood--or vice versa) we purchased a pound of shrimp for the Cajun shrimp and grits recipe I brought along. Then we listened as the clerk provided a short tutorial on how to devein shrimp. It's a nasty and tedious business, I'll tell you:

The "vein" is actually the shrimp's digestive tract so while you can leave it in, it can make the shrimp gritty. It's also a disgusting thought. 

Mom and I both participated in the deveining process. She made the grits and I brought along homemade Cajun seasoning from my own kitchen. 

It's been rumored that shrimp are high in cholesterol. Before leaving for vacation I discovered my cholesterol is high. I've read different research studies about shrimp and I don't know that I've determined shrimp is truly  bad (unless you've deep fried it, of course).  But this recipe contained grits, a good fiber source and fresh spinach, a valuable source of vitamin K and anti-inflammatory violaxinthin.  

I'm learning that making the effort and doing the extra work is worth it.

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