To stay warm through the sub-zero temperatures of February, Sharon has been creating hearty, spicy, delicious dinners at home. Three standouts recently have been the following dishes:
1. Shrimp and spicy-cheesy grits. Everything tastes better with bacon, and this recipe calls for several strips to be fired up in a cast-iron skillet first. After they are done, the remaining fat is used to sautée the shrimp — adding a superior smoky flavor. The grits had lots of spicy cheddar-jack cheese added, a perfect complement to the finished shrimp and bacon bits.
2. Vegetarian chili. Chock-full of corn, black beans, peppers and barley (to fool our meat taste-buds) and topped with cilantro — the chili was so thick that I didn’t even miss the ground beef. Sour cream on top counteracted the spicy peppers.
3. Home-made tacos with cheesy jasmine rice. Starting with a mixture of beans, cheese and cabbage, each taco is stuffed then fried on the stove top in a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil. The cool jasmine rice helps divert the heat of the warm tacos with each bite.