Spicy Shrimp and Grits

Spicy Shrimp and Grits are a favorite of mine. I first ate them on a road trip through the Southern US where it's a classic and never looked back. A glance at the recipe makes it look like there's a lot going on but it's a really simple dish to make.  The sauce for the shrimp can be made ahead of time and heated through when needed.  The shrimp cook in a couple of minutes so can be thrown into it a couple of minutes before eating, plus you can put the grits together while the sauce is cooking down. If you're not as big a fan of grits as I am, then these shrimp are good with rice too, but grits, especially these creamy, cheesy grits are delicious. Once you try them, you'll be hooked,

AuthorAnn Ogden Gaffney
RatingDifficultyIntermediate

The sauce should have the appearance of a pasta sauce. You can make it ahead of time to this step.

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Spicy Shrimp and Grits
Yields4 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins
Spicy Shrimp
 2 tbsp olive oil
 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
 3 shallots, diced
 1 stick celery, diced
 1 red frying pepper, diced
 ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
 ½ tsp cayenne or to taste(optional - see Ann's Tips)
 2 tsp dark brown sugar
 ½ cup cherry tomatoes, liquidized
 1 cup stock or water
 salt to taste
Grits
 2 cups whole milk
 2 cups water
 1 cup polenta or yellow grits
 ½ cup gated gruyere
 2 tbsp sweet butter
 salt to taste
The Shrimp:
1

Take 2-3 of the shrimp and roughly mince. Set aside.

2

Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the garlic. When it starts to color, add the shallots, celery, and peppers. Sprinkle with salt. Cook 1 minute then turn the heat down to medium. Cook partially covered until they are soft but not colored, about 10 minutes.

3

Bring the heat up to medium-high. Stir in the paprika and the sugar. Cook one minute then add the tomato paste. When it starts to caramelise, add the tomatoes and chopped shrimp. Mix well. Cook one minute.

4

Add 1 cup of stock. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. If it looks dry, add the remaining stock a little at a time. The sauce should have the appearance of a pasta sauce. You can make it ahead of time to this step.

5

Add the shrimp and cook until just pink. Serve immediately

The grits:
6

In a heavy pot, bring the milk, the water and a pinch of salt to a low boil over a medium flame. When it is boiling, gradually pour in the grits in a thin steady stream, stirring as you go to stop lumps from forming.

7

When all the grits are in the pot, keep stirring until it starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Beat in the grated cheese and butter until melted into the grits, about 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve immediately

Ann's tips:
If you don't like spicy food use sweet smoked paprika, and leave out the cayenne.

Category, , , Cuisine, Cooking Method,

Ingredients

Spicy Shrimp
 2 tbsp olive oil
 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
 3 shallots, diced
 1 stick celery, diced
 1 red frying pepper, diced
 ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
 ½ tsp cayenne or to taste(optional - see Ann's Tips)
 2 tsp dark brown sugar
 ½ cup cherry tomatoes, liquidized
 1 cup stock or water
 salt to taste
Grits
 2 cups whole milk
 2 cups water
 1 cup polenta or yellow grits
 ½ cup gated gruyere
 2 tbsp sweet butter
 salt to taste

Directions

The Shrimp:
1

Take 2-3 of the shrimp and roughly mince. Set aside.

2

Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the garlic. When it starts to color, add the shallots, celery, and peppers. Sprinkle with salt. Cook 1 minute then turn the heat down to medium. Cook partially covered until they are soft but not colored, about 10 minutes.

3

Bring the heat up to medium-high. Stir in the paprika and the sugar. Cook one minute then add the tomato paste. When it starts to caramelise, add the tomatoes and chopped shrimp. Mix well. Cook one minute.

4

Add 1 cup of stock. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. If it looks dry, add the remaining stock a little at a time. The sauce should have the appearance of a pasta sauce. You can make it ahead of time to this step.

5

Add the shrimp and cook until just pink. Serve immediately

The grits:
6

In a heavy pot, bring the milk, the water and a pinch of salt to a low boil over a medium flame. When it is boiling, gradually pour in the grits in a thin steady stream, stirring as you go to stop lumps from forming.

7

When all the grits are in the pot, keep stirring until it starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Beat in the grated cheese and butter until melted into the grits, about 5 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve immediately

Ann's tips:
If you don't like spicy food use sweet smoked paprika, and leave out the cayenne.

Spicy Shrimp and Grits

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