Cheesy Shrimp and Grits. When I first heard about this from my sister a few years ago, I thought YUCK! I may be a Louisiana girl, but I definitely never liked grits. Though maybe I never tried them. Yes… I think that must be it. Because if I’d ever tried Shrimp and Cheesy Grits, I would have fallen in love with this creamy, ground-corn goodness long ago!
When I was at boarding school at Culver Academies, the infamous Dean Nagy taught me AP History. The Dean asked me every. single. morning. without fail… “Miss Andrea, did you have your grits today?” I loved The Dean, but that daily question drove me crazy. In my VERY distinct southern drawl, I’d say “No sir, no grits today!” How I wish I could now have The Dean over for some shrimp and cheesy grits! I’d now say (in an exaggerated version of my very obvious southern drawl), “Yes SIR! I’ve had and LOVED my grits, SIR!”
So fast forward MANY years from my daily Dean Nagy question. If you’ve never liked… or never TRIED grits.. you must — yes, must —right away. Shrimp and cheesy grits is now one of my all-time favorite recipes.
-1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
-5 bacon slices
-1 cup chopped onion
-1/4 cup chopped chives
-3/4 cup chopped green, red & yellow bell peppers
-3/4 cup roasted corn kernels
-1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
-1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
-5 cups water
-1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 teaspoon salt, divided
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1/4 teaspoon cumin
-1/4 teaspoon chili powder
-1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
NOTE: to save time, I used frozen chopped onions and peppers. Instead of grilling corn and removing kernels, I used Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn. That stuff is amazing!
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Chop into small pieces. Keep the bacon drippings in the skillet. When making a recipe with lots of ingredients, I like to measure everything out in advance so it’s all ready right when I need it. So that’s what I did after chopping my bacon.
Next, I mixed together 1/2 a teaspoon of salt with the spices and then tossed them with the shrimp.
Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook five minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp mixture and broth. Cook five minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently.
While the shrimp are cooking, bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for five minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter, the remaining salt and cheese. Serve shrimp mixture over grits. Sprinkle chives and roasted corn kernels.
But this recipe is also a great option for dinner! My only complaint is that I didn’t make enough for leftovers. I’m craving some more delicious Shrimp and Cheesy Grits right now!
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