Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shrimp & Grits

Matt keeps a list next to his computer of dinner ideas which comes in handy when I'm making the weekly menu. Shrimp & grits was one of those ideas & maybe because I was down South last week it sounded good to me. Well, not only did it sound good but it ended up tasting great!
Shrimp & Grits
Neither of us had ever made made shrimp & grits before but I knew it was a favorite of my mom & dad in Memphis. So I called my mom & she said it was super easy, just cook up the grits, add shrimp, cheese & bacon & you're done. I didn't have any grits in the house but my mom said not to worry she actually just uses corn meal.

Ok, ok I know yellow corn meal is not actually the hominy grits you'd get down South but from everything I read online its certainly close enough for a couple Minnesotans like us. Really, we have no idea how close our finished dish was to the traditional at all. What we do know is that this dish had a wonderful creamy, cheesy texture, the perfect saltiness that is bacon, a little bite from the onions, sweetness from the shrimp & just a touch of heat from the cayenne. And we know we'll be making it this way again.

Shrimp & Grits (Minnesota-style)

1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1/2 c yellow onion, diced
2 c water, divided
1/2 c corn meal (I think you can use yellow or white)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cayennne pepper
3 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
20 - 30 cooked, peeled shrimp
1 oz sharp Cheddar, grated (Use a good cheese as it really flavors the dish. We used Faribault Dairy Fini Cheddar from Faribault, MN)
2 scallions , chopped

In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion & cook until translucent. Add 1 1/2 cups of the water & bring to a boil. Mix the corn meal with the remaining 1/2 cup water. Stir slowly into the boiling water & turn the heat to low. Stir in the salt & cayenne. Continue to stir while cooking for about 5 minutes, it should thicken to the consistency of cream of wheat.

Meanwhile in a small skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Heat the shrimp quickly until just hot in the bacon fat.

Once the corn meal has reached the desired consistency, add the cheese & stir until melted.

Plate the grits & top with the bacon & shrimp. Sprinkle with scallions.

2 servings


Dewi said...

Looks really delicious Kat, I still haven't tried this grit yet. I shall try to remember to look for it when I go to grocery store.

HungryinSW said...

I was just posting about how I need some soul food in my life on Heavy Table and here you are coming through! I'm skipping out on My New Orleans trip this year to go to Hilton Head, and this has me ready to go! Is it April yet?

billjac said...

I don't think you need to worry too much about the grits. Shrimp & grits is a traditional Gullah dish so the grits are already substituting for some African mush: foofoo, maybe.

Kristin said...

that sounds great! i may have called it polenta though... i LOVE polenta!

Jen said...

Grits/polenta are such a great winter food that I keep meaning to use but never seem to. I should really try them this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I should keep a list of those things I want to try, as well. I've read about shrimp and grits for ages, and I know it's one of the popular recipes Paula Deen made at her restaurant, but I've never tasted them, or had them. I'm curious, and yours look great.

Beth (jamandcream) said...

I've never heard of grit before - Im intrigued

grace said...

although i'm hard-wired to prefer southern style, i can't deny that minnesota does it pretty well too. :)

Peter M said...

Yum, this will make one forget about Minnysota winters.

Anonymous said...

I think I have only made grits once at home, but this looks so flavorful and delicious.

Lori said...

I actually have pics of some grits in my queu. I LOVE grits. When I lived down SOuth I ate them regularly. Now I go through grit periods. Grits and polenta are very close.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I've been seeing some pretty attractive versions of this in the blogosphere recently. I am going to have to try it!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

I've never had grits but have been wanting to try them since seeing _My Cousin Vinny_ (LOL) oh so many years ago!

Kirby! said...

I LOVE shrimp and grits. I went to college in North Carolina, where I was up to my ears in shrimp and grits of all varieties. But your mom is right: it's best made simple with butter, bacon, cheese, spices, and a little something green for garnish. Hooooo-eee!

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t = teaspoon
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