Shrimp and Grits

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I first had shrimp and grits when I tagged along on a business trip my husband took to Charleston, South Carolina. I only ordered grits one night, also with shrimp, because it was the thing to have in Charleston. I’d previously not been a huge cornmeal fan.

Well, thank you Charleston. I’m a huge fan now. The secret is butter, cream and cheese. Which, of course, can make anything better.

So I’m making some good grits today that will be served with shrimp and some Andouille sausage for a Creole flair. Hope you like this dish!

Creamy Grits with Shrimp and Sausage

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups grits, I use a medium grind of cornmeal
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
2 tablespoons oil
12 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound shrimp, cleaned, shelled, dried
salt, pepper

Add the water, milk, and butter to a dutch oven over medium heat until the butter melts.

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Then add the grits and cook them, whisking constantly, and adding a little cream at a time. This is almost like making risotto, although eventually you can quit whisking.

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Continue adding some cream until the cornmeal quits absorbing it. This could take about 30 minutes. When you’re sure it’s done, and quits thickening, add the white pepper and thyme.

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Then stir in the grated cheese. Set the grits aside.

Put a large skillet over high heat and add the oil. Add the sausage slices and brown them on both sides. When they’re all browned, scoop them up with a slotted spoon and place them in a large bowl. But keep the skillet on the stove with the oil.

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Salt and pepper all of the shrimp.

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Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat. Then add the shrimp, in batches, and cook them until they are opaque. This only takes a minute. Place the cooked shrimp in the bowl with the sausage, and continue with the remaining shrimp.

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When it is time to serve, have your grits, shrimp, and sausage all warm. Place some of the grits in a pasta bowl. Then top with the shrimp and sausage.

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I also sprinkled what I thought was paprika over the top, but it turns out it was Old Bay seasoning, which worked out well, thank goodness! I would have added some cayenne, as well, but I assumed the Andouille sausage would be spicier.

This meal was delightful with a glass of riesling.

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note: You don’t have to use all of the cream and butter, but I just like creamy grits. I’m not going to eat them made only with water and a drizzle of milk. Ridiculous. So I dress them up into buttery, cheesy, creamy goodness!

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46 thoughts on “Shrimp and Grits

  1. That looks great. I’ve never eaten grits. Sounds awful to us English … gritty things aren’t good! But reading your post it sounds like polenta (which can be a bit gritty :) ) … and I do like … but only dressed up with cheese and lots of butter, much like you’ve done here. Polenta is usually bright yellow corn but I had quite of bit of white polenta in Venice last year … grits???

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    • I maybe should have more specific, but I think I’ve already done two polenta posts and I didn’t want to be repetitive. But grits and polenta are exactly the same thing – corn meal. There is yellow, and white. And, there are different grind sizes. The cheap kind is typically very fine for quick cooking, and also de-germed to that it lasts longer on the shelf, and also is much less healthy. That’s why I prefer the coarser grind. And I buy yellow because I feel like color means more healthy, like colorful veggies. Grits is a horrible name, which I think is another reason why I avoided them for so long. But once they’re cooked, they are just smooth like polenta.

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      • Thanks for demystifying the polenta/ grits thing. I ate grits once in the USA. They were not to my taste at all so have avoided them ever since. Polenta I adore. I guess there are good cooks and bad cooks worldwide. Time to revisit grits……..😀

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      • They are one and the same, however, in the US, you can get finely ground grits, medium, and coarser ground ones. So that might change the texture somewhat. There’s also white and yellow and blue. But yes, they maybe weren’t made well.

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  2. Lovely post. It is impossible to get grits here in France, but everytime a friend from the States visits, that is the one thing I ask for (and maple syrup). I adore shrimp and grits! Lovely post. Next time I have grits, I will be making this!

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  3. never had anything like this, sounds exotic and interesting! grits… are those something between pancakes and frittata? the shrimps look amazing!

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  4. This has become a favorite dish of mine since relocating to North Carolina. I really love it and you’ve photographed it beautifully, Chef Mimi…I’m sure non-southerners will want (no, they need to) try this. All that’s missing is the sweet tea!

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