Shrimp and Smokey Grits
*Please note...I rarely measure ingredients so the measurements are approximate and can be adjusted according to taste. Start with less, wait, taste, add more, wait a bit, taste, repeat. As my Mom would say, "The important step between adding, tasting, and adding more is the waiting part. You have to let the ingredients marry a bit."* Please feel free to contact me with questions.
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6 cchicken broth
2 cgrits, quick-cooking (i know, a sin, but it makes the cook time less)
11/2-2 lbuncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tailed, chopped in large chunks*
1 csmoked gruyere** (add more, to taste)
1/4-1/2 tspgarlic powder
1 mediumonion, diced (i use sweet onions, like a vidalia)
·chicken broth, extra on hand in case the grits get too thick
1 stickbutter, room temperature, cut into chunks
·salt and pepper, to taste
How to Make Shrimp and Smokey Grits
- Dice onion. In a skillet, sauté onions in a little olive oil until translucent. Set to the side.
- Bring the chicken stock and garlic to a boil in a large pot (I think mine is a 4 qt). Reduce heat to low.
- While continuously whisking (DON'T STOP) slowly add the grits in a steady, consistent pour. Don't stop whisking and don't be delicate about the whisking, get in there and keep it moving...this prevents lumps and makes the grits smooth and creamy. The grits will begin to thicken. If the consistency starts looking like mashed potatoes, add more chicken stock until smooth and "loose". If you add a little too much, don't worry, you're adding cheese. They'll thicken a little more with cooking too. Beware of boiling grits! Just don't do it, don't let them boil...Let my lesson as a child learning to cook grits be a forewarning to you: Grit burns HURT!
- Taste...add more garlic and pepper, if desired. Don't add salt yet...the cheese will increase the salt flavor.
Add butter, cheese, onions, and shrimp. Stir frequently to keep everything melting and mixing in.
- Once the shrimp are cooked, pink/opaque, you can taste again to add more of any of your flavors (salt, pepper, garlic, butter). If the grits are too thick, you can still add chicken stock a little at a time to loosen them up.
*I chunk the shrimp and stir them into the grits when I serve as a side.
When I serve as a main or an starter, I leave the shrimp whole. I pan sauté the shrimp in a little olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange on top of the grits 3-4 shrimp per serving. Garnish with a little grated cheese and sliced green onion.
**Use sharp cheddar and crispy, pan fried bacon lardons in place of the smoked Gruyere for a different flavor.
- I learned to cook by watching country cooks, tasting, smelling, feeling, trying, messing up, and trying again. Please feel free to contact me with questions.