Yes, I know, I’m not from the South. I grew up eating Farina, not Grits. In fact, I never really liked grits until the day the hubs got a hankering for a dish of Shrimp and Grits after watching a show on Food Network. It was about 9pm and I said, “Ok. Let’s go to the grocery store and I’ll make you some.” He replied, “Have you ever made this before?” I said, “Nope. But that’s never stopped me…” And thus this dish was born. I add a Cajun flair with a bit of spice and some perfectly cooked bacon. Try this dish the next time you’re in the mood for a little “comfort food”.
Badass Yankee-Girl Shrimp n’ Grits
The Badass says: “Who says a Yankee girl can’t cook up a down home Southern favorite? Adjust the seasoning to your taste and use the heavy cream to add an optional touch of creaminess to the grits.”
Prep/cooking time: about 30 minutes
Here’s what you need:
1.5 lbs of medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1.5 cups grits (of your preference)
1 bunch scallions (about 5-6)
3 slices of thick cut bacon
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like medium sharp)
1TBS white wine
1-2 TBS heavy cream (optional)
2 tsp-1TBS of Cajun seasoning blend (add to suit your taste)
1 pinch salt
2 TBS butter
You’ll also need:
A large skillet
A 4-6 quart pot
And here’s what you do:
Chop the scallions in a medium fine chop (about ¼ inch pieces) and set aside.
Stack bacon strips and cut into thin strips aka “lardons” (about ¼ inch wide). Heat pan on high and add bacon pieces. Reduce heat to medium and cook bacon stirring occasionally, until done-crisp and slightly chewy, but not burnt (about 3-4 minutes). Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
Cook grits according to the package directions. When grits are done, add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of the butter. Stir until butter is melted and evenly mixed into the grits. Add the cheese and mix until cheese is melted and combined. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
(***NOTE: When you are ready to serve, you can add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to the grits if you like****)
Heat the bacon fat in the pan on medium high and add the shrimp and Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring, until shrimp start to turn pink, about 30-45 seconds. Add ½ of the chopped scallions and cook for another minute or two, until shrimp are tender and no longer translucent. Add the bacon and the wine and cook for another 20 seconds. Remove from heat.
To serve, spoon grits on a plate, add the shrimp and top with some of the remaining raw, chopped scallions.