I am always in search of different types of spices because of my love of cooking and the numerous dishes I can create. When traveling, I love talking to the natives and visit their shops. Over the years I have learned that if you want to experience the life of the locals of a country, it is best not only to talk to them but also show interest in their way of life.
Wherever I go, my curiosity picked because I get to experience a new life, taste and eat foods that I have never eaten. I was ecstatic when my cousin’s wife Kim brought me Black Lava Gourmet Sea Salt from Hawaii. “Black lava salt is a marketing term for sea salt harvested from various places around the world that have been blended and colored with activated charcoal.” (Wikipedia, 2013)
Black Lava Gourmet Sea Salt reminds me of “gros sel,” a type of salt used in Haiti. This salt also reminds me of Fleur de Sel, very flavorful and only a small quantity is sufficient to flavor a dish. It is very coarse and melts quickly. The color of the salt does not stain the food as one might think. It just adds more flavor in my opinion. This salt compliments every dish I make. WOW! I feel like I am marketing this salt.
The need for a quick, healthy lunch or dinner is always on my mind. So I decided to make Shrimp with Black Lava Sea Salt and Baby Lima Beans with Grits – Uh! What a long name for a dish? I think this is my first one. LOL. An effortless dish to make in a jiffy!
How to make the dish
I love using jumbo shrimps because they are meatier and no need to have a pot full of small shrimps. They are cooked in a mixture of unsalted butter, olive oil, garlic, shallots, Black Lava Sea Salt, crushed hot pepper flakes, lemon juice, and chives.
The beans are also cooked in the same mixture for only a few minutes, so they are not too soft. Just a small amount of water was used because I did not want to lose the texture of the beans, as I tried to keep their buttery flavor. But more importantly, I did not wish to have the grits floating in a lot of sauce. It is just a preference, and it is not a soup made with grits.
If you like lemon, you will love the lemon taste in this dish. The lemon can be substituted for a mild vinegar, but you should regulate the amount because of the acidity level. One thing I did not mention earlier, is the reason for using both butter and oil, a) butter will burn if not mixed with a little bit of oil when frying spices; b) lima beans and butter is a beautiful marriage.
Enjoy Grits with Shrimp and Baby Lima Beans cooked with Black Lava Seasalt.