The quintessential, completely southern
Shrimp and Grits recipe!
There’s no other way to say it, but this is one of those meals that bring out the “don’t touch my plate or else” side of me. It’s seriously and perfectly southern through and through, Shrimp and Grits!
As with many regional recipes, you can imagine the variety of “who’s is best”. Well, I’m here to claim that this is my favorite and this is the best recipe you’ll find for Shrimp and Grits! Just to be clear. 😉
If you need a gooey, cheesy grits recipe, this is the one! I run to it with my hands waving excitedly, and grinning like a possum eating a sweet potato (yes, it happens). I love the sharpness of the cheddar and the perfect amount of saltiness from the Parmesan that amps up the flavor considerably. We’re talking grits suitable enough for breakfast, lunch and most definitely dinner!
For this recipe, I start on the cheese grits first. I use the stone ground grits, not instant – do not use instant, so they need to be cooked for about 40ish minutes, which is more than enough time to whip up the scrumptious shrimp. (Yeah, I tried saying that 10 times really fast…fun stuff).
If you’ve never had grits, oh darlin’, this is you’re chance to enjoy the best way I know of. Albeit, if you put me in front of a plate of Fried Cheese Grits, you couldn’t pull me away!
If you want to learn a little more about grits, a.k.a. Georgia ice cream, check out the article, a Brief History of Grits.
- For the Cheese Grits:
- 4 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 cup Stone Ground Grits, do not use instant grits
- 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1 1/4 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 2 Tbsp unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp ground Pepper, or to taste
- 1 tsp Tabasco Sauce, or to taste
- For the Shrimp:
- 2 lbs large Shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 4 oz Pancetta or 4 slices smoked Bacon
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 8 oz Mushrooms, sliced (I like to use Crimini, but any will do nicely)
- 2 - 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce, or to taste
- 2 - 4 Spring Onions, diced
- Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped, to garnish
For the Grits:
- Using a medium saucepan, bring Chicken Stock to a boil over high heat.
- Add in the Grits and Salt, give it a quick stir and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, making sure the Grits don't burn on the bottom of pan. Cook for about 35 - 45 minutes or until Grits are thickened, and it's reached your desired consistency.
- Remove the Grits from the heat and add in the Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese, Butter, Butter and Tabasco (optional). Taste to check seasoning and adjust if needed.
For the Shrimp:
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the Pancetta (or Bacon) and cook for about 5 - 8 minutes, making sure the Pancetta is crispy and the fat has been rendered.
- Remove the crispy Pancetta (if using Bacon, drain and crumble), place on a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain. Reserve about 2 Tbsp of the Pancetta fat in pan, and set aside the crispy Pancetta.
- In a bowl, add the shelled and deveined Shrimp and toss with the Cornstarch.
- In the same large skillet with the Pancetta fat over medium high heat, add the Shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, then turn them over.
- Add in the sliced Mushrooms, Pancetta, and minced Garlic, continue to cook for another 2 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Don't overcook the Shrimp, or they'll be on the tough side).
- Take off the heat, and squeeze in the Juice of 1 Lemon. Add the Tabasco Sauce and diced Spring Onions and stir it all up.
Serve the Shrimp over a nice dose of the cheesy Grits, garnish with chopped Flat Leaf Parsley and enjoy!
If you're not a fan of Tabasco or Mushrooms, you can skip these ingredients.
You can substitute Water or Vegetable Stock for the Chicken Stock if desired.
Adapted from Southern Living.
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.