Looking for a simple and delicious comfort food recipe? Look no further! This easy cheesy shrimp and grits recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re a fan of homemade shrimp and grits or a lover of Southern cuisine, this creamy and flavorful dish is sure to become your new favorite.
With just a few ingredients and a total cooking time of only 30 minutes, you can have a mouthwatering meal on the table in no time. The combination of creamy stone-ground grits cooked in a mixture of milk, butter, and chicken broth, topped with sautéed shrimp in a buttery sauce, is simply irresistible.
And let’s not forget the cheesy goodness! The addition of shredded cheese to the grits adds an extra layer of richness and flavor that will leave you wanting more. Plus, the dish is finished off with crumbled bacon and green onions for a smoky and fresh twist.
So if you’re craving some Southern comfort food, whip up a batch of this easy cheesy shrimp and grits recipe. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds. Get ready to indulge in a bowl of creamy and flavorful goodness!
The History of Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and grits is a traditional Southern dish that originated in the Lowcountry of the South Carolina coast. It has a rich history and has become a Southern staple enjoyed for both breakfast and dinner.
The dish has its roots in the coastal regions of South Carolina, where it was originally a popular breakfast dish among fishermen and coastal communities. Shrimp, being abundant in the area, was paired with grits, a classic Southern ingredient made from stone-ground cornmeal. The combination of the two created a hearty and satisfying meal to start the day.
Over time, shrimp and grits became more than just a breakfast dish. It gained popularity throughout the Southern states and evolved to include various regional variations. One such variation can be found in New Orleans, where blackened shrimp and grits with a creole/cajun spin have become a favorite.
Today, shrimp and grits is enjoyed across the United States and beyond, but its origin in the Lowcountry remains a cherished part of Southern culinary heritage. The dish continues to showcase the flavors of the region, with a focus on simple and wholesome ingredients.
When it comes to preparing shrimp and grits, there are regional variations in terms of seasonings and additional ingredients. Some recipes include peppers and onions for added flavor, while others use blackening seasoning to give the dish a spicy kick. However, this easy cheesy shrimp and grits recipe keeps things simple, allowing the natural flavors of the shrimp and the creamy grits to shine. Seasoned with just salt and pepper and garnished with fresh green onions, it’s a dish that captures the essence of Southern comfort food.
Now that we’ve explored the history of shrimp and grits, let’s dive into the details of creating the creamy grits that form the base of this classic Southern dish.
The Creamy Grits
To make the creamy grits for this cheesy shrimp and grits recipe, we use stone-ground grits. While yellow grits were used in this recipe, you can also use white grits as an alternative. The stone-ground grits have a slightly chewy texture and a super “corny” flavor that adds a delicious twist to the dish.
Unlike quick cooking grits or instant grits that cook faster, stone-ground grits require a bit more time. To save time without compromising on the creamy texture, we have a helpful trick. Simply whisk the grits every few minutes for about 10-15 minutes until they become creamy but still not completely done. Then, cover them and remove them from the heat, allowing them to steam and finish cooking on their own. This method ensures perfect creamy grits without the need for constant stirring.
If you’re pressed for time, you can use quick cooking grits or instant grits as substitutes. While the texture and flavor may vary slightly, they still provide a delicious base for the cheesy shrimp and grits recipe.
“The stone-ground grits have a slightly chewy texture and a super ‘corny’ flavor.”
Cooking the Shrimp
Now that you have your creamy and flavorful cheesy grits ready, it’s time to cook the star of the dish – the shrimp. Cooking the shrimp is a breeze and adds a delicious smoky flavor to the overall dish. Here’s how you do it:
- Choose Jumbo Shrimp: For the best texture and taste, it is recommended to use jumbo shrimp. They have a meatier texture that pairs perfectly with the creamy grits.
- Seasoning: Keep it simple by seasoning the shrimp with just salt and pepper. This allows the natural flavors of the shrimp to shine through.
- Cooking Method: To enhance the smoky flavor, cook the shrimp in bacon fat. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon fat. Once the fat is hot, add the seasoned shrimp and cook for a few minutes on each side until they turn pink and opaque.
- Buttery Sauce: After the shrimp are cooked, they are mixed with a simple buttery sauce. In the same skillet, melt some butter and add chicken stock to create a luscious sauce. This sauce adds an extra layer of flavor and richness to the dish.
With just a few minutes of cooking, your shrimp will be ready to be combined with the creamy grits, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. The combination of the smoky shrimp, buttery sauce, and creamy grits will have your taste buds dancing with delight.
Take a look at the table below for a quick recap of the cooking method:
|Jumbo Shrimp Cooking Method
|Choose Jumbo Shrimp
|Use jumbo shrimp for meatier texture
|Season the shrimp with salt and pepper
|Cook the shrimp in bacon fat until pink and opaque
|Mix the cooked shrimp with a simple buttery sauce made with butter and chicken stock
“Cooking the shrimp in bacon fat adds a delicious smoky flavor that perfectly complements the creamy grits.”
Assembling the Dish
To assemble this cheesy shrimp and grits recipe, start by spooning the cooked cheesy grits into a shallow bowl. The creamy texture and rich flavor of the grits provide the perfect base for the dish.
Next, spoon the cooked shrimp along with the buttery sauce on top of the grits. The shrimp are tender and flavorful, complementing the creaminess of the grits.
For added taste and texture, sprinkle some crumbled bacon on the dish. The smoky flavor of the bacon pairs perfectly with the shrimp and grits, adding a delicious twist.
Finally, garnish the dish with sliced green onions. The fresh and vibrant flavor of the green onions balances the richness of the dish, creating a harmonious combination of flavors.
And let’s not forget about the shredded cheese! The cheese melts beautifully into the grits, enhancing the creaminess and providing an extra layer of richness to every bite.
The assembled dish is not only visually appealing but also a delightful symphony of flavors and textures.
|Cooked cheesy grits
|Spoon into a shallow bowl as a base.
|Cooked shrimp in buttery sauce
|Spoon on top of the grits.
|Sprinkle on the dish.
|Sliced green onions
|Garnish the dish.
|Mixed into the grits for extra creaminess.
Serving and Storing
This cheesy shrimp and grits recipe is best enjoyed immediately after assembly for immediate consumption. However, if you happen to have any leftovers, they can be easily reheated for future enjoyment.
To reheat the grits, it is advisable to use the stovetop method. Simply place the leftover grits in a saucepan and add a little extra water or chicken stock to thin them out. Heat the grits on low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through and creamy again. This will help prevent clumping that may occur when the grits are chilled.
For reheating the shrimp, it is recommended to use the microwave for a quick and efficient process. Place the shrimp in a microwave-safe dish and heat them for only a few seconds at a time, checking frequently to ensure they do not become rubbery or overcooked. This will preserve their tender texture and delicious flavor.
Remember, when reheating any dish, it is important to exercise caution and monitor closely to prevent overheating or altering the taste and texture of the food.
Reheating Tips for Leftover Shrimp and Grits
- Reheat the grits on the stovetop with a little extra water or chicken stock to thin them out.
- Reheat the shrimp in the microwave for only a few seconds at a time to prevent overcooking.
- Exercise caution and monitor closely during the reheating process to preserve the taste and texture of the dish.
With these reheating tips, you can enjoy your cheesy shrimp and grits recipe even when leftovers are involved. It’s a convenient option to savor the deliciousness of this Southern comfort food without compromising on taste and quality.
Variations and Additions
Add your own twist to this cheesy shrimp and grits recipe by customizing it to suit your preferences. Whether you want to make it without bacon, add some veggies, or explore dairy-free options, there are plenty of ways to spice it up and make it extra saucy. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Making shrimp and grits without bacon: If you prefer to skip the bacon, you can still achieve delicious flavor by sautéing the shrimp in olive oil or butter instead of bacon fat. This will give the dish a rich and buttery taste without the smoky bacon undertones.
- Adding veggies: For added flavor and texture, consider adding sautéed mushrooms, peppers, and onions to the dish. These veggies will complement the creamy grits and succulent shrimp, creating a more vibrant and nutritious meal.
- Dairy-free options: If you’re lactose intolerant or following a dairy-free diet, you can easily make this recipe dairy-free. Simply omit the shredded cheese and cook the grits with all chicken stock instead of milk. This alternative will still result in creamy and flavorful grits without the use of dairy products.
- Making it extra saucy: If you prefer a thicker and more flavorful sauce, try making a simple gravy to accompany your shrimp and grits. After cooking the shrimp, use the pan drippings and whisk in a mixture of flour and butter. Gradually add chicken stock and let it thicken to create a deliciously rich and savory sauce.
- Spicing it up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, you can spice up your shrimp by adding chili powder or other spices to the seasoning. This will give your dish a fiery kick and add an extra layer of flavor to the succulent shrimp.
Feel free to experiment with these variations and additions to create a personalized version of this cheesy shrimp and grits recipe. The possibilities are endless, and you can tailor the dish to suit your taste and dietary preferences. Enjoy the process of creating your own unique twist on this classic Southern comfort food!
This easy cheesy shrimp and grits recipe is the epitome of Southern comfort food. With its creamy and flavorful combination of cheesy grits and sautéed shrimp in a buttery sauce, it is sure to satisfy your cravings for a quick and easy meal. Whether enjoyed for breakfast or dinner, this dish will transport you to the heart of Southern cuisine.
The creamy texture of the stone-ground grits, cooked with a mixture of milk, butter, and chicken broth, provides a comforting base for the succulent shrimp. The addition of shredded cheese to the grits adds an extra layer of richness, while the crumbled bacon and green onions on top lend a smoky and fresh flavor profile.
Whether you’re a fan of classic Southern dishes or simply looking for a delicious and satisfying recipe, this easy cheesy shrimp and grits is a must-try. Its simplicity and quick cooking time of just 30 minutes make it an ideal choice for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want a taste of Southern comfort without spending too much time in the kitchen. Give it a try and indulge in the creamy, flavorful goodness of this iconic Southern dish.
What is the origin of shrimp and grits?
Shrimp and grits is a traditional Southern dish that originated in the Lowcountry of the South Carolina coast.
Is shrimp and grits a breakfast or dinner dish?
Shrimp and grits was originally a breakfast dish, but it has now become popular for both breakfast and dinner.
What type of grits are used in this recipe?
This recipe uses stone-ground grits, either yellow or white. Yellow grits were used in this specific recipe.
How are the grits cooked to achieve a creamy texture?
The stone-ground grits are cooked by whisking them every few minutes for about 10-15 minutes until they are creamy, then covering them and removing them from the heat to let them steam the rest of the way.
What type of shrimp is recommended for this dish?
Jumbo shrimp are recommended as they have a meatier texture that holds up well with the creamy grits.
How are the shrimp cooked for this recipe?
The shrimp are cooked in bacon fat, giving them a delicious smoky flavor. They are seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked for a few minutes until done.
How is the dish assembled?
The cooked cheesy grits are spooned into a shallow bowl, and then the cooked shrimp and buttery sauce are spooned on top. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of crumbled bacon and sliced green onions.
Can the dish be reheated?
Yes, leftovers can be reheated. The grits may clump together when chilled, so it is recommended to reheat them on the stovetop with a little extra water or chicken stock. The shrimp should only be reheated briefly in the microwave.
Can this dish be customized?
Yes, the recipe can be customized. Bacon can be omitted for a bacon-free version, and additional veggies such as mushrooms, peppers, and onions can be added. The dish can be made dairy-free by omitting the cheese and using all chicken stock. A thicker sauce can be made using flour, butter, and chicken stock. Spices can also be added for extra heat and flavor.
What makes this recipe a Southern comfort food?
This easy cheesy shrimp and grits recipe is considered Southern comfort food due to its creamy and flavorful combination of cheesy grits and sautéed shrimp in a buttery sauce.