Shrimp ‘n Grits

by | Jan 24, 2019 | North Brunswick

Want to know the secret to making the best Southern grits? Cream cheese and chicken stock.

Over the years I have been perfecting my recipe for shrimp and grits, and anyone who has stayed at my house within the last year has been one of my inadvertent tasting judges. And so, I bring to you the best shrimp and grits recipe this Southern girl can dish out. Grits is one of those foods that many non-Southern people turn their nose up at because, first of all, it doesn’t sound very appetizing and also the texture is quite unique. Grits is merely corn ground into a coarse meal that is meant to be boiled in milk or water. By itself, grits really doesn’t have much taste, so many people add salt, butter, pepper, cheddar or even sugar to make it flavorful. My secret weapon is cream cheese. With cream cheese they are smooth, creamy and delicious.

The majority of grits sold in the United States come from the region known as the “grits belt,” which runs along the states between Texas and Virginia. Like corn, grits can be yellow or white, depending on the type of corn used. While grits doesn’t have enough nutrients to qualify for super-food status, they do offer some nutritional value and have a place in a moderate- or high-carb diet. However, this recipe takes grits to a not-so-healthy level with the addition of cream cheese, bacon and butter.

For this recipe I use locally sourced fresh jumbo shrimp with the addition of asparagus, shallots, garlic and sherry, which makes for a very savory dish. Feel free to substitute green pepper for the asparagus or add diced tomatoes if you wish. You can even kick it up with Cajun spices and spicy sausage. Trust me, I have experimented with many variations and they are all delicious.

Once a popular morning meal throughout the South, shrimp and grits is no longer restricted to breakfast tables below the Mason-Dixon line. Versions of the dish now appear on breakfast, lunch and dinner menus across the country from Maine to Oregon. At anytime of the day, this is down-home comfort food at its finest.

Print Recipe
Shrimp 'n Grits
Prep Time 25 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 25 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring the 4 cups of chicken stock to boil and slowly add the grits. Stirring often, cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. While the grits are cooking fry the chopped bacon in a pan over med/high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped shallots to the bacon and cook for an additional 3 minutes until the shallot is opaque. Remove the bacon and onions from the pan, leaving the grease, and set aside. Reduce the heat to med/low.
  3. Reduce the heat on the grits to med/low and drop in the cream cheese and stir till well blended. Add the sherry and liberal amounts of salt and pepper, then transfer the cooked bacon and shallots to the grits. Stir well and cover for an additional 10 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in the hot pan of bacon grease. Cut the asparagus into 2-3 inch pieces and put in the pan. Cook the asparagus for about 5 minutes stirring throughout. Add the shrimp, top with paprika and cook for about 2 minutes – stirring after 1 minute. Turn the heat off but keep the pan on the stovetop while you prepare the plates.
  5. Divide the grits into 4 bowls, divide the asparagus and shrimp on top of the grits among the 4 bowls pouring the juice from the shrimp over the grits and sprinkle the chopped green onions on each. Serve hot.