Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Shrimp and Grits is a favorite southern dish that you can make right at home.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

The white specs looked like tow trucks out on the water. They were always there. With the help of binoculars we could spot John’s every now and then. My grandparent’s home on Folly Beach was a few doors down from John’s, and we benefited on a regular basis from his catch. Fresh fish and seafood were plentiful during my childhood. Whether it was the crab we caught right off the beach, fish my grandfather reeled in, local oysters harvested close by, or shrimp from John’s nets, we were never at a loss. Only now do I realize it was something I definitely took for granted.

Fresh shrimp found it’s way into many dishes over the years. My parents still manage to get pounds freshly caught to share with us, but it’s never quite like it was having John stop by to drop off a few pounds caught only hours earlier.

When Randy and I got married learning how to create our favorite meals was fun and new. Shrimp and Grits was one of the first dishes I learned to master. It became our date-night-in meal that I would prepare just about every other week after our kids went to bed.

There are many versions of Shrimp and Grits, mine was inspired by Mark Bittman’s “Shrimp My Way” recipe that I originally watched him make with Martha Stewart many years ago as I folded clothes. I remember thinking of how it seemed like the perfect way to cook shrimp, particularly for shrimp and grits. I soon purchased Mark’s book, How to Cook Everything, specifically for that recipe. Even though “Shrimp My Way” was why I bought the cookbook, How to Cook Everything has proven to be an invaluable resource in our kitchen, used to the point of breaking the spine. I broke the book.

As I said, Mark’s technique for cooking shrimp in seasoned olive oil is perfect for Shrimp and Grits. It’s quick and easy and can be adapted to whatever seasonings you have on hand. I’ve tried a variety of seasonings over the years when making Shrimp and Grits, but have found cumin and paprika to always be a tasty compliment for shrimp as well as the grits.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Regarding grits, you’ll find a few notes below. The grits alone in this recipe are to die for, if I do say so myself. These grits are not for the grit purest, who may take only a bit of salt, pepper, butter and possibly a smidgen of cheese with their grits, which I do enjoy too. I do not discriminate amongst the grits. I like them all. But I do think these grits are mighty tasty. If you’ve never enjoyed grits, give these a try and let me know what you think.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do and come to claim it as a favorite too. Enjoy!

Recipe notes for Shrimp and Grits:

  • The nitty gritty on grits. Cooking grits is sort of instinctual … they will look right and taste right. For this recipe, you may use any type of grits you desire. I’m a southerner, born and bred, but I don’t get snooty when it comes to grits. So if you’re in a hurry, quick grits, which are more finely ground, will cook in about 5 minutes. They will work fine for this recipe. I use them all the time when I’m being impatient. A regular medium ground grit will take 15-20 minutes or so. Stone ground grits take a bit longer (45 minutes or more) and have a larger grind resulting in a chunkier texture. Grits are done when they are slightly tender to the bite and have thickened. Grits need to be stirred, or better yet, whisked, often while they cook to help thicken up. Be sure to salt water before adding the grits, then taste grits to adjust seasonings as needed before adding shrimp.
  • Prepare the grits first, and keep covered and warm while the shrimp are being cooked. Grits can wait on the shrimp. When ready to serve, stir grits to loosen them back up. If needed, a bit more butter or beer can be added to the grits to thin them out.
  • The key to preparing shrimp correctly is not to overcook them. Depending on the size, shrimp will take about 3 minutes to cook.

Shrimp and Grits

This savory southern favorite can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s easy and quick to make.

Ingredients:

For grits: (double this amount for hearty meal)

  • 1 cup grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley or oregano
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces beer

For shrimp:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled, rinsed, and patted dry

Directions:

For grits:

  1. Begin preparing grits according to package instructions (sometimes I split liquid called for w/half water/half milk). Whisk in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. Whisk occasionally; as grits begin to thicken, stir in butter to incorporate. Let sit for another minute. Whisk/stir in shredded cheese and beer until smooth.
  2. Adjust seasonings, butter and cheese to taste. Keep covered and warm until ready for shrimp.

For shrimp:

  1. Preheat the oven broiler.
  2. Stovetop, warm a 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil begins to ripple/shimmer, whisk in paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk together and let simmer for about one minute.
  3. Add the shrimp, shake the skillet to distribute shrimp evenly in 1 layer over bottom of skillet. Wait 30 seconds, turn shrimp over once. Place skillet in oven under preheated broiler for 2 minutes. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Spoon shrimp and olive oil mixture over prepared grits.

The nitty gritty on grits. Cooking grits is sort of instinctual … they will look right and taste right. For this recipe, you may use any type of grits you desire. I’m a southerner, born and bred, but I don’t get snooty when it comes to grits. So if you’re in a hurry, quick grits, which are more finely ground, will cook in about 5 minutes. They will work fine for this recipe. I use them all the time when I’m being impatient. A regular medium ground grit will take 15-20 minutes or so. Stone ground grits take a bit longer (45 minutes or more) and have a larger grind resulting in a chunkier texture. Grits are done when they are slightly tender to the bite and have thickened. Grits need to be stirred, or better yet, whisked, often while they cook to help thicken up. Be sure to salt water before adding the grits, then taste grits to adjust seasonings as needed before adding shrimp.

Total cook time will vary depending on what type of grits are used. Prepare the grits first, and keep covered and warm while the shrimp are being cooked. Grits can wait on the shrimp. When ready to serve, stir grits to loosen them back up. If needed, a bit more butter or beer can be added to the grits to thin them out.

The key to preparing shrimp correctly is not to overcook them. Depending on the size, shrimp will take about 3 minutes to cook.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe shewearsmanyhats.com

Originally published May 29, 2015.