I just enjoyed eating something I never thought I would enjoy eating. I take that back, I just had one of the best meals I’ve had in a looong time and it has 2 ingredients in it that I usually do not like. I found this recipe and thought that my husband would like it, but that I would probably need to eat a big lunch so I wasn’t hungry for dinner 😉
We just had Shrimp & Grits.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about the dish. I was incredible, over the top incredible. It was soooo good. My hubby claims that it is better than he’s had in any restaurant. Now, maybe he’s just being nice, but he helped make it too, so he could tell me if he didn’t like it. We decided to have a little date night tonight, cooking together since shrimp seems like it’s for special occasions (like a date!). It was lots of fun and the meal certainly did not disappoint.
You are going to want to try this recipe immediately. For those of you who like shrimp and grits, I don’t need to do any convincing. For those of you who have had bad experiences with grits, it’s probably because you’ve had instant grits (either at home or at a restaurant) and they weren’t seasoned properly. Real grits do not even compare to instant grits. I will eat grits if someone puts them on my plate, but I do not particularly like them. However, that just changed tonight when I had real, stone-ground grits. This is the real deal and let me tell you, they are good.
A couple of things you need to know about this recipe:
(1) Get stone-ground grits. Do not sub with instant grits. If you are going to go through the expense of buying shrimp, getting good grits is worth it. My local grocery store did not carry them; I called Trader Joe’s and they claimed not to carry them, so I went to Whole Foods and found a bag. They were $4.99 for a 2lb bag, but I know that price is local because the grits I bought are made locally. Anyway, you can probably assume similar pricing.
(2) Like I said above, I do not usually buy shrimp. So when I went to the store and saw shrimp was on sale, I bought it without noticing what kind of shrimp it was. It turned out to be cocktail shrimp, as my husband discovered when I asked him to peel it. Anyway, it worked out just fine and was actually a lot less work since it was already cooked and peeled! I didn’t have to cook it obviously, but just put it in the pan for a minute or two (on low) to get it warm. Feel free to buy regular, uncooked shrimp for the recipe, but I think that next time, I just might buy cocktail again for less fuss!
(3) When cooking the grits I did end up adding about 1 cup extra of water/cream combined. Once it’s been cooking for a while and you can tell how thick it’s going to be, you can add more water or cream until it’s the consistency you prefer for grits.
Now for the recipe:
Shrimp and Grits
(adapted from saveur.com)
1 cup white or yellow stone-ground grits (I used white)
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 slices turkey bacon
1 pound shrimp, peeled
10 white mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
4 green onions, sliced
- Add water and heavy cream to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and add in the grits and salt. Reduce heat to low, whisking frequently. Cook for 30-40 or until grits are creamy and tender. If the grits are too thick for your taste add a little more water or heavy cream. Once grits are cooked, whisk in cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese and 1 Tablespoon butter. Cover and set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook til crispy. Remove bacon from pan (leaving the juices) and crumble once cooled.
- Add shrimp to skillet, turn once, and cook until it is bright pink or about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan (leaving the juices) and keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium and saute mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add in chicken broth and increase heat to high. Cook (and stir) until the broth reduces by 1/2 (about 2-3 minutes). Add shrimp back into the skillet. Stir in lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter. Cook for 1 minute longer, or until sauce thickens.
- Pour grits into each bowl, and top with shrimp and sauce. Top with green onions and crumbled bacon. Makes 4 servings.