Bags of frozen shrimp are one of my favorite kitchen staples, and they often lead to last minute meals that turn out pretty great. A few weeks ago, I bought molasses, anticipating using it in brown bread. My brown bread ended up not calling for molasses, but I started thinking of other recipes for this classic ingredient.
Spicy BBQ sauce was the first thing that came to mind. I started with about a cup of organic cider vinegar and several tablespoons of tomato paste.
Fun fact: my nana drinks organic apple cider vinegar. I can’t do it because I think it tastes gross, but she is rollin’ up on 97 this November, so she must be doing something right!
Cider vinegar makes a great base for a BBQ sauce. I mixed the tomato paste and vinegar in a pot with about a cup of water. I used the vinegar bottle as a vessel for the water to get as much flavoring from the vinegar as possible.
I brought the vinegar and tomato paste to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the paste, then added two large spoonfuls of molasses, about a teaspoon of garlic powder, and two large jalapenos, chopped.
Toward the end I also added about a tablespoon of grated ginger. I am obsessed with ginger these days, ginger in food, ginger tea, ginger beer in Dark & Stormy’s. Love it!
I made the sauce the night before finishing the dish to ensure the flavors all got together. It was divinely spicy and sweet with a tang from the vinegar.
When I was ready to cook dinner, I peeled and cleaned about two dozen shrimp.
Then I popped the shrimp into the sauce and let them hang out for about half an hour.
While the shrimp marinated, I got my “grits” going. I used the Trader Joe’s version of Cream of Wheat, a hot cereal I have been loving lately. I enjoy the texture SO much more than oatmeal, and I thought, why not add it to dinner?
I cooked up a pot of the wheat cereal, and in a separate pot cooked the shrimp in BBQ sauce. To serve, I spooned the cereal into bowls and topped it with heaping ladles of BBQ sauce and shrimp. The sauce sunk down into the soft, creamy cereal, flavoring it, making it a little soupy, and just becoming a bowl of spicy comfort.
I am still cold, even though the weather has gotten nicer, so dishes like this will likely be on the blog for a few more weeks.
What are your plans to enjoy the warmer temps this weekend?