If you prefer white grits, feel free to make the substitution. Be sure to look for a stone ground, whole grain variety and avoid quick-cooking or instant grits. Use whatever mushrooms your prefer. My preference is a combination of cremeni and shiitake mushrooms.
1cupstone groundwhole grain yellow grits (may be labeled polenta)
3 3/4cupsreduced-sodium chicken broth(use low sodium broth to trim the sodium even more)
1tablespoonextra virgin olive oil
1poundpeeled and deveined large shrimp
2 1/2cupssliced mushrooms(start with 8-10 ounces untrimmed mushrooms)
6scallions,cut into approximately 2-inch pieces
1/2teaspooncoarse ground black pepper
Combine the chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika in a medium pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Gradually pour in the grits and stir vigorously. Reduced the heat to to medium low, so the grits cook at a low boil. Keep the pot covered except to stir periodically to prevent clumping. Remove from the heat when the grits are at the desired consistency, after about 6 to 8 minutes. For this recipe, I prefer my grits on the wetter side, but you can continue to cook them until they are the way you prefer them.
While the grits are cooking, toss the shrimp with the salt, crushed garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and swirl to cover the pan. Add the shrimp and cook on each side until just pink, a total of about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skillet.
In the same skillet, add the mushrooms and scallions. Sautée on medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet. Sprinkle the thyme and pepper over the shrimp and vegetables and stir.
To serve, scoop up about 1 cup of grits and 1 cup of shrimp and vegetable mixture into each of 4 bowls. If you have leftovers, store the grits separate from the shrimp for easier reheating.
To reheat, add additional chicken broth to the grits, stir and heat on high in the microwave or on medium in a pot on the stove. The shrimp are best reheated when covered with a damp paper towel at a moderate power in the microwave.