Chef Juje

A messy adventure in learning to cook

Shrimp and Grits

{…in which I learn to make grits}

For almost all of my husband’s life, he and his family have traveled to the southern part of North Carolina to spend a week on the beach.   I was even invited last year for a relaxing week full of sand, sun and shrimp.

Seriously, one of my favorite memories of last year’s vacation was the delicious shrimp and grits that his mom made for us. And although we weren’t able to go to North Carolina this year (sorry, North Carolina, your beaches took a back seat to my honeymoon), we wanted to recreate our favorite vacation dish here in Ohio.

A Crash Course on Grits

Grits are basically dried corn that is ground to a coarse meal. It can usually be found in the breakfast cereal aisle, NOT in pasta or rice as I initially tried, which makes sense because it is neither pasta nor rice.   Most sources seem to agree that a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of liquid to grits is a good rule,  using lighter liquids like water or stock when heavier ingredients (cheese or butter) are used and milk with stock when making grits on their own.

Start with boiling your liquid. Then reduce to low and add the grits. You should see large, slow bubbles (not rolling bubbles!) in the grits.  Over time, the grits will begin to thicken and seem creamy.

On left – large slow bubbles. On right – grits start to become creamy.

After the grits are finished cooking, you can add your other ingredients like cheeses and butter.

See Saveur “Perfecting Grits” and Bon Appetit “Grits” for more information on my new favorite corn product.

Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup grits
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 cup old-fashioned (NOT instant) grits
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter (1 tbsp for grits, 1 tbsp for shrimp mixture)
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • chopped peppers or other vegetables
  • salt and pepper

Directions – Grits

  1. Bring stock and water to boil. As soon as liquid is boiling, reduce heat to low and whisk in grits.
  2. Whisk grits quickly at first, then continue whisking as the grits cook. Should be done frequently but not constantly.
  3. Allow grits to cook for about 20 minutes (if using old-fashioned Quaker Oats grits; stone grits take closer to 40 minutes)
  4. Stir in cheeses and 1 tbsp butter
  5. Turn off heat, cover with lid and set aside.

The shrimp mixture. This was a bit of an improvise-as-you-go situation.

Directions – Shrimp

  1. Salt and pepper shrimp
  2. Heat pan to medium high.
  3. Add a few teaspoons of oil to hot pan, then add shrimp
  4. Cook shrimp for a few minutes until pink, turning over once.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add the chopped peppers and sautee until soft. Add garlic and cook for about a minute.
  6. Pour 1/2 cup chicken broth let it reduce in half
  7. Add tobasco sauce, lemon juice, 1 tbsp butter and cooked shrimp.

The finished shrimp and grits.

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3 thoughts on “Shrimp and Grits

  1. This looks & sounds sooo good! Wish granny
    & Vic were more adventurous eaters. Although
    I could probably eat the whole pan!

  2. Oooh, my hubs LOVES shrimp & grits and I’ve yet to attempt it. This has me all excited. You’re really ticking things off the “things to learn” list. Rock on!

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