Friday, January 28, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

I'll be the first one to admit that the very thought of eating shrimp and grits had me gritting my teeth. Not only does it not sound appetizing (grits reminded me of oatmeal or poridge, and why would I want to eat that as a savory meal?), but it sure doesn't look all that great when it's served to you. School cafeteria mush anyone? I had a teeny taste of grits for the first time at Cracker Barrel and vowed to never try them again. I swear it tasted like cardboard, even with two pads of butter melted in it. Simply put, it was bland, and I don't like bland.

But then I tried cheese grits and everything changed. I discovered there are grits (the kind that tastes like sand and cardboard) and then there are grits (the kind that is so savory and creamy you wish it was never ending). Shrimp and grits, however, is a whole other level of just deliciousness.

This summer, my best friend flew in from New Mexico to hang out in Georgia for a few days, and while she was here we hung out in Savannah. If you're ever in Savannah, there's this nifty kitchen store called Kitchens on the Square, and the best part is that they host cooking classes! We took a class and besides making the following recipe, we also made southern classics like Tomato Sandwiches, Buttermilk Dill Cole Slaw, and Stuffed Banana Cakes. The shrimp and grits were fantastic and I told myself I'd remake them someday for my husband. Well, that day was yesterday.

I served them along with these collard greens, and he loved it so much that he described the meal, through a mouth full of grits, as "so freaking good." Grits don't have to be boring and flavorless. Just make this recipe and see for yourself!

Shrimp and Grits

1/2 cup diced bacon (about 5-7 slices)
2 tablspoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablspoons fresh chives, roughly minced
1 cup quick cooking grits *see notes for using stone-ground (not instant) grits
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use whatever type of milk you have on hand)
salt and pepper to taste
shrimp, peeled, and deveined (desired amount)
1 cup goat cheese (or whatever cheese you would like—we had cheddar, so that's what we used)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a medium sauce pot, cook bacon until crisp. Add butter, garlic, and chives; saute another 2-3 minutes. Add grits and stir to coat with bacon fat (should look like bread crumbs). Stir in chicken broth, wine, and cream.

3. **Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until grits have thickened, 5-8 minutes.

4.Season with salt and pepper; transfer to baking dish.

5. Scatter shrimp evenly over grits; crumble/sprinkle cheese over shrimp. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cheese is melted.

*When using stone-ground grits: increase the following: 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3/4 cup white wine, 3/4 cup cream
**When using stone-ground grits: Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring often. Continue with step 4.


  1. I'm not a fan of grits ( at all ) but this looks and sounds good. I've had shrimp and grits twice and it always looked okay, and tasted horrible. BUT. The dishes I had didn't mix them all together - it was a martini glass with grits in it, with the shrimp on the rim. I did not like it at all. This, all mixed together? Looks a LOT better.

  2. Leaving you a note:::: I am giving you (and your SIL) the Versatile Blogger Award! Scope out my blog for the details :) I love reading about your foodie adventures :)

  3. If all else fails - add more cheese! I love making and eating grits! Delicious.

    Next up - you better be trying Nassau Grits! I'll post a recipe for it soon - just for you :)

  4. I've always wanted to try shrimp and grits. This looks tasty lady!


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