Southern Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and grits is a southern classic that can vary from state, county, and family tradition. Cammy makes this dish for her family for Easter and it’s a great version that includes the details of what makes the dish so delicious – great ingredients, a bold balance of flavors in the sauce, and the creamy, nutty, and sweet flavor of heritage grits.
Southern Shrimp and Grits
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound of large shrimp, deveined, and shells reserved for the broth
¼ cup diced cut bacon, from thick slices
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 3 tsp Sheba blend, divided
- 2 Tbsp regular or gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1 cup broth (see recipe below)
- Tabasco sauce, about 20 splashes or to taste
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp roughly chopped parsley
1 cup corn grits (see Recipe Notes for recommendation)
4 cups of shrimp broth (recipe below)
- 4 oz of cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 5 cups of chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
- Shrimp shells, from the shrimp above
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 bay leaf
- In a heavy bottom saucepan heat the oil and give the shrimp shells a quick pan roast until they are opaque and golden but not browned.
Cover the shells with the liquid, add the bay leaf and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, and strain through a fine sieve. The resulting liquid should be 5 cups or a little water can be added to make up the difference.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring 4 cups of the broth and 1 cup of grits to boil, stirring constantly to ensure the grits do not stick to the bottom.
Once the pot reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook covered, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom with a silicon spatula to avoid sticking and burning for 20 minutes or until the grits are tender. Turn off the heat and leave uncovered until ready to finish the grits (once the shrimp and sauce are done).
- In a heavy bottom skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until shimmering.
- Blot the shrimp with paper towel to dry any excess moisture and toss in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of Sheba and 2 pinches of fine sea salt to season.
- Sear the shrimp on both sides quickly to golden brown, leaving them uncooked in the center, and remove from the pan.
- Add in the bacon, butter, onion, peppers, granulated garlic, and remaining Sheba and cook over medium heat until just softened.
- Add the flour and stir to combine well.
Add the broth, scraping up any browned bits back into the sauce, and bring to boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer and add the shrimp back to finish cooking. Add the tabasco, lemon juice, and roughly chopped parsley. Remove from heat and finish the grits.
Bringing it all together
- The grits should still be warm from cooking. Turn the heat on to low to heat gently and stir in the salt, white pepper, butter, and cream cheese until combined well and warmed through.
Plate the grits and top with a few shrimp and sauce if plating each serving individually or go family style by smoothing the grits onto the bottom of a 2"-3” deep serving dish and topping with the shrimp and sauce and everyone can serve themselves.
The Guinea Flint Heirloom Grits from Marsh Hen Mill are life changing. The hearty grains are a deep almost orange color and have an amazing flavor and aroma of sweet corn. With every bite you will be hooked. The website also offers so many delicious products (um Unicorn Grits) and expands on their efforts to preserve heirloom products from the area. The yellow grits from Marsh Hen Mill are available through Amazon and are also very, very good.
If the available shrimp are already deveined and shelled, don’t worry, you can use chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water and the dish will still be delicious.
For even richer grits, fold in an extra ½ cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese when adding the cream cheese. The result will be decadent and irresistible.
For those spices that typically aren’t eaten whole (peppercorns, allspice, star anise, etc.) it is convenient to keep a little bit ground and ready – just do small batches to keep things fresh. This is the grinder Lior recommends and uses for small needs. It’s a little quieter, utilizes good technology to help with even grinding, and has a removable container for easy cleaning and storage.
Questions? Contact email@example.com.