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!