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
Add the water, milk, and butter to a dutch oven over medium heat until the butter melts.
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.
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.
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.
Salt and pepper all of the shrimp.
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.
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.
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.
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!