Rachel Getting Hungry: Shrimp & Grits

by Rachel on October 9, 2010

I had never had shrimp and grits before this month, so I can’t explain exactly why I was craving it. The dish just kept coming to mind as something I really wanted to be eating. My guess is that it had something to do with the fact that I bought cowboy booties and have been feeling all deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas lately.

Then Food & Wine did a big “New South” issue in September and, given my new attitude, I was all over it. When I saw they featured a healthy take on shrimp & grits, I immediately went to the store for supplies.

I made a couple substitutions and halved the recipe to make enough for myself that night and have some for leftovers the next day.

Shrimp & Grits for Two

1/4 + 1/8 cup quick-cooking grits

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3/4 cup baby spinach, chopped

2 tbsp snipped chives

1 tbsp butter

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound frozen shrimp, thawed

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1/4 tsp hot paprika

1/8 cup dry white wine (I used Bandit!)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

This Is How We Do It

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 and 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Gradually add the grits and generous pinch of salt. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the grits become thick like porridge. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese, spinach, and chives. Stir until the cheese is melted and spinach is wilted.

Cover the grits to keep them warm while you finish the shrimp!

While your grits are cooking, heat the butter and cook the garlic for about 30 seconds. Season the shrimp with the Old Bay seasoning, and then add the shrimp and paprika, plus more salt and pepper, and cook for about two minutes, until the shrimp are opaque. Add the white wine and cook for another minute, until the shrimp are white all the way through and the garlic-paprika sauce is reduced a bit.

Spoon half the grits into a bowl and top with half the shrimp and sauce!

Fact: I did not know I’d love grits so much! They are so good. They are pretty bland on their own, but with the chives and cheese…oh my goodness! I could honestly just eat that as a side dish pretty much any time. But the flavorful shrimp was the perfect way to add protein.

I put the rest of the grits and shrimp in a container for work the next day, and it was just as delicious warmed up. If you’re a “I don’t have time to make breakfast” person, you should definitely make this ahead of time and eat it in the morning during the week.

This was a super fast and easy weeknight recipe, but it’s also a great one for those weekend mornings when you want a big breakfast but don’t want to go through the work of making a big breakfast…or the work of brushing your hair and going out for brunch. So basically, if you’re like me, and pretty much couldn’t get any lazier, this is your weekend savior. Get the ingredients now so you’ll be armed and ready tomorrow!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 zenlizzie October 9, 2010 at 11:56 am

I’ve been wanting to learn how to make shrimp and grits since I’m a southern girl and I’ve always loved grits. But while I love the idea of shrimp, but I don’t love shrimp. I always order them in restaurants and think, “Why did I order this? I hate shrimp!” So, I’ve been trying to figure out a substitute for shrimp in the traditional recipe, but no luck just yet.

However, yours looks really great. I’m glad you`ve come over to the southern side with an appreciation for grits!

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2 Megan H October 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Oh wow – I’ve actually never had grits before, myself… they just don’t appear terribly appealing. But OH, they look craveable here. Do you use frozen shrimp or purchase it from a seafood/meat counter? I just may have to try this myself sometime.

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3 thetreadmilldiaries October 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I’ve never eaten or made grits before in my life..but I admit to wanting to try it after reading your post.

-The dish looks really yummy AND
-It doesn’t look too hard to make (which I like a lot)

I’m thinking why the heck not make them. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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4 Abby October 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

This looks so good! I have come to appreciate grits after spending my undergrad years in Bloomington, IN. I love your blog because you always manage to make me laugh out loud when I’m reading (even when that is on the quite floor in the library).

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5 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) October 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I’ve been wanting to attempt making shrimp and grits for a while. It looks delicious and comforting. I love cheesy polenta and aren’t grits pretty much the same thing? Did you use frozen/fresh shrimp?

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6 Rachel October 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I used frozen shrimp! I just ran it under cold water fora few minutes to thaw it.

Grits are very similar to polenta! Def make it — I think you will love!

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7 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) October 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Nice! I was stressed about peeling, deveining and all that jazz. I’ll bookmark this post and let you know when I make it!

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8 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write October 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I was at a gourmet foodie event yesterday and Chef Brian Malarkey (sp?) was there and that’s exactly what he was making in his cooking demonstration. Shrimp and grits. Looks good girly! Great minds obviously think alike.

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9 Smash @ Appreciate The Now October 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

OmNomNom is all I can think right now. I love cheesy grits with salt & pepper. A lot of people in the South eat them sweet with butter and sugar — no thanks! While I’m not a shrimp fan, I just can’t seem to NOT drool right now…

I just started my new blog and posted about the State Fair of Texas. Are you and Eric going to make the trip to Dallas to check it out before it closes?

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