Shrimp and Grits

I have been taking a bit of a break and enjoying the holidays at home with the fam. Our white Christmas got the better of me and I am nursing a bit of a cold. In honor of my NC State Wolfpack winning their bowl game last night (and my need for comfort food) I thought I would share a Southern treat with you today. Outside of the South, grits are a bit understood, but I promise this recipe will make a convert out of anyone. The key is to get the right ingredients and a little bit of patience, what you will get is creamy goodness perfect for cold winter. I hope you are enjoying your holiday season!


Shrimp and Grits

For the Grits:

1 Cup Stone-Ground Grits

4 Cups Water (plus a little if needed)

2 Tablespoons Butter

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Small Grating of Nutmeg

Dash of Tabasco

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

½ Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

For the Shrimp:

1 Pound Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined

6 Slices Bacon

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Cups White Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Bunch Scallions, Sliced

1 Clove Garlic, Pressed

Juice from 1 Lemon

¼ Cup Vermouth (or White Wine)

Dash of Tabasco

2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Pour the grits into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Skim off the chaff as it floats to the surface.

Stir the grits and skim again until all the chaff has been removed. Drain the grits in a sieve.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and slowly stir in the grits.

Cook at a simmer, stirring frequently, until the grits are done, about 40 minutes. Add more water about ½ cup at a time if they are not quite getting tender. They should be quite thick and creamy. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese and spices. Serve immediately or keep warm over a double boiler for 30 minutes.

While the grits are cooking, prepare the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Dice the bacon and fry in a large skillet until browned. Drain on paper towels.

Pour off the excess fat, leaving a couple tablespoons to cook the shrimp. Add olive oil if you need additional fat. Heat over medium-high heat, add the shrimp and cook until they begin to color, turning once. Remove then add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the scallions and garlic.

Then add the bacon and shrimp back. Add the lemon juice and Vermouth to deglaze the pan. Allow to simmer about 1 minute then add Tabasco, parsley, salt and pepper.

Serve shrimp over the cheese grits.



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