When it comes to Southern cuisine, what could be more iconic than Shrimp and Grits? They have been thought of as the ultimate classic dish in the South for years. Shrimp and Grits can now be found lingering on menus spanning from The Bluegrass State clear to The Sunshine State.
Once upon a time ago friends, Shrimp and Grits really weren’t actually that popular, unless you come from a “Low Country area” such as Georgia, or South Carolina, you may never have known they existed until recently. Over the past few decades, they have made their way across our southern states like a Bat Out of Hell coming in for a quick landing. Yes, indeed, I just compared Grits to a Bat out of Hell didn’t I? Grits are one of those things non-Southerners either have a massive love affair with after eating or swear they are the work of the devil. There is no in between with them. Grits are something you have to finesses and show a little love too. You can’t just toss grits in a pot of boiling water, walk away like your making that stuff Creamed Wheat, then dump a few spoonfuls of sugar on and call it a day. No, Ma’me or Sir can’t be done.
Which reminds me, what in tarnation is this new passion for using Quick Cook Grits in Grits recipe? Are we that short on time these days? OK, yes we are most days, I know ladies, 45 minutes to cook grits is a bit long, but you have to promise me to please try making the stone grits just once, I swear you won’t want to buy those instant grits many more times. They really do taste much different from another.
For all of you new to the Course Grits game we should probably discuss, How to make regular Course Grits:
- 1 cup coarsely-ground grits
- 5 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- In a large, heavy-duty saucepan, bring the water or stock to a rolling boil. Bring the heat down to medium, about to a simmer, then slowly whisk in the course ground grits, stirring constantly until they begin to thicken, about 5 minutes
- Reduce the heat to low, so that the course grits bubble a few times every few seconds, but aren’t popping in the saucepan. Cook for 40-50 minutes, the coarser the grits are, the longer they need to cook, stirring quite frequently to make sure the grits aren’t sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Once the grits are tender and cooked through, beat in the unsalted butter and kosher salt and serve hot.
That’s pretty much it, Y’all–fairly easy, but a bit more time consuming as you can see versus The Quick Cooking Grits. So it’s really up to you to decide which you prefer to do when making the recipe for Shrimp and Grits. You can take the easy way or the right way.
Ingredients needed for Shrimp and Grits Recipe
- Extra Large or Jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
- Thick sliced bacon
- Grape tomatoes
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley
- freshly minced garlic
- Worcestershire sauce
- Cajun seasoning
- Smoked paprika
- Chicken stock
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Green spring onions thinly sliced
- Stone Grits or Quick Grits
- Heavy cream
- 1 bay leaf
- Unsalted butter
- White sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to cook shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds Extra Large or Jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
- 6 slices Thick sliced bacon cooked
- 1/4 cup Chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup broth or stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher Salt to own taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to own taste
- 2 cups Quick Cook Grits
- Water according to package less 1/2 cup to cook grits
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup White Sharp cheddar cheese
- 10 Grape tomatoes sliced
- 6 Green spring onions thinly sliced
In a large castiron skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until brown and very crisp. Remove the bacon and place on a paper-lined plate to drain. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from cast iron skillet. Reserve till needed
Add about 2 tablespoons of butter to the Cast iron skillet used to cook the bacon, let the butter melt. Season the jumbo shrimp evenly with Cajun seasoning, fresh minced garlic, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add the jumbo shrimp to the cast iron skillet along with about 1/4 cup chicken stock + tablespoon olive oil.
For the grits: Start by adding water, warmed cream, a bay leaf, and salt to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a low boil. Gradually whisk in the grits, a little at a time. Keep stirring the grits with a whisk to prevent any lumps from forming in them. Reduce the heat and cook grits at a very low simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until water is fully absorbed and grits thickened, about 15 minutes or so.
Remove the grits from heat; add unsalted butter and white cheddar cheese, stirring continuously with a whisk until the white cheese melts.
Assemble the dish by placing the grits at the bottom of a shallow bowl, top with Cajun shrimp, some of the cooking liquids, crisp bacon, grape tomato slices, and sliced spring onions.
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