I have a confession… I’ve never had shrimp and grits (or even plain grits for that matter) before heading off to college at Ole Miss. It took emerging myself into the Deep South to ever come face to face with a dish like this. I grew up in south Texas and grits were just not a thing around my city. Although, once I had a taste of shrimp & grits… my heart was sold. I’m not a southern girl by any means but I’m so glad I went to school in the south. This part of the country introduced me to some of the most flavorful food I’ve ever had. I ate out a lot in college… almost every day probably. There’s no doubt Clay and I indulged at every single restaurant in Oxford by the time we left. Which is not hard so do since it is essentially a two street town. Since moving to Atlanta, I definitely think I’ve taken those southern flavors and added them to some of the food I cook.
This shrimp and grits recipe is beyond simple. It begins with some Cajun spices shrimp and a tomato cream sauce with petite diced tomatoes. A little jalapeño for spice and some shallot for more depth. The grits are also simple. They start with plain yellow grits. Then I add some butter, cream, salt, pepper and pepper jack cheese. See? It’s so easy anyone can make this dish.
Try these other brunch favorites of mine:
SPICY SHRIMP & GRITS
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 2.5 cups water
- 1/2 cup yellow grits
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp butter, salted
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Cajun seasoning
- Old bay seasoning
- 4 tbsp butter, salted
- 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
- 14.5 oz can petit diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more or less to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Add in yellow grits and salt. Bring to a soft boil and then turn heat down to the lowest setting and place a lid on the pot. After about 3-5 minutes, remove lid and whisk the grits. Add in butter, cream, pepper, pepper jack and more salt to taste. Whisk together until everything is melted together. Once done, turn heat off and cover with a lid till ready to serve.
- (Note: If the grits are too thick in consistency, add in small amount of water until they reach desired consistency.)
- Season the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and old bay.
- Heat a large tall sided skillet to medium heat. And in the butter and allow to melt. Add in shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes a side, or until pink in color. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside for now.
- Immediately add in onion, garlic and jalapeño and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, cream, salt and oregano. Bring to a soft boil and then turn the heat down to simmer. Allow sauce to cook for an additional 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the shrimp back into the sauce and allow to heat up for a minute or two. Turn heat off.
- Serve while hot and garnish with fresh parsley.