A popular dish originating in the Lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina, shrimp and grits has a distinctive blend of flavors and textures that lend it an almost addictive quality.
The grits are creamy and smooth with a subtle cheddar cheese flavor that pairs beautifully with the smoky shrimp, bacon and bell pepper combo served on top.
Serve with a salad and our Oven-Roasted Okra to round out a great meal with a classic Southern flair.
Shrimp and Grits
- 6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup grits
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Fry the bacon until crisp, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat in a small bowl.
- Combine the 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Next, prepare the grits. Bring the remaining 3 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring continually, until the liquid is absorbed and the grits are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cover and set aside to keep warm.
- Combine the flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture and shake off the excess.
- Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat over medium-high heat and add the shrimp in a single layer (work in batches if necessary).
- Sauté until the shrimp are firm and just starting to turn pink, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- Note: The shrimp do not need to be cooked through at this time.
- Add another tablespoon of the bacon fat to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and celery and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, green pepper, and red pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the peppers are tender, 5 to 6 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken broth mixture to the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Return the shrimp to the pan, stir to coat the shrimp with the broth and cook until the liquid has thickened and the shrimp are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- To serve, plate individual portions of grits, top with the shrimp mixture and garnish with chopped parsley.