Spice Up a Cold Day with Shrimp and Grits
November 23, 2021
Recipes for shrimp and grits can be as varied as the chefs and home cooks who prepare this comforting dish.
North Carolina chef Bill Neal is credited with making shrimp and grits popular, thanks to Craig Claiborne of The New York Times, who shared his recipe in the mid-1980s, but it’s been a beloved dish for longer than that.
Historians say the dish could have been enjoyed by the Gullah Geechee people of the Carolina coastal area. For years, this dish regionally was referred to as “breakfast shrimp.”
In Mississippi, shrimp and grits are most often associated with John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford. Currence, who worked under Neal early in his career, takes a slightly spicy approach. The kicked-up shrimp and their sauce pair deliciously with the cheesy and buttery grits!
Shrimp and Tabasco Hot Sauce Cheese Grits
1 c. Quaker Quick Grits
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 tbsp. Paprika
3/4 c. X-sharp Cheddar (White)
1 tbsp. Tabasco Hot Sauce
1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Cook grits according to instructions on the package.
- As grits are finishing, whisk in butter, cheddar, parmesan, cayenne, paprika, and Tabasco.
- After all of the ingredients are incorporated, season with salt and pepper.
2 c. Chopped Smoked Bacon
3 c. Sliced White Mushrooms
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 tbsp. White Wine
1 1/2 lb. 26-30 count Shrimp
2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
Salt and Black Pepper
2 c. Sliced Scallions
3 tsp. Minced Garlic
- Cook bacon until it begins to brown, remove from heat, strain, and reserve bacon grease and bacon bits.
- Heat a large skillet until very hot, add olive oil, and 2 tbsp. bacon fat.
- As oils begin to smoke, toss in shrimp to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Before stirring, season with salt and pepper (this will season shrimp in particular but the rest of the dish as well).
- Stir until shrimp begin to turn pink all over (let pan return to original hot temperature.
- Stir in minced garlic and bacon bits (be careful not to burn the garlic).
- Toss in mushrooms and coat with oil briefly.
- Add lemon juice and wine, stir for 30 seconds or so until everything is well coated and incorporated.
- Assuming that this is ready to be served, toss in sliced scallions and stir for about 20 seconds (if these hold too long before serving, they will begin to turn brown and lose all of their crunch).
- Serve over the aforementioned, patiently-waiting cheese grits.
This should serve 3 or 4, depending on how hungry everyone is.
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