Recipe: Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite things to eat and to cook. It’s cheesy, salty, spicy, seafood-y goodness. But when I say recipe, I mean it in only the very loosest sense. I rarely follow actual recipes when I cook so everything is an approximation of how I make it.

A few tips:

  • Roast the tomatoes and garlic ahead of time and this dish takes only about 30 minutes to prepare.
  • Do not add salt. Many of the ingredients are naturally salty and added salt will overpower all of the other flavors.

For the Sauce:
2 medium tomatoes
1 head of garlic
Olive oil
1/2 lb sausage, finely chopped (Andouille or similar)
1/4 small onion, diced
1/2 cup diced mushrooms (optional)
3/4 cup white wine
2-3 Tbsp Creole seasoning
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Diced scallion or parsley for garnish

For the Grits:
1/2 cup uncooked grits
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice tomatoes into thick chunks and place on a baking sheet. Generously drizzle with olive oil. Remove the skin on the head of garlic and slice off the top 1/4″ to 1/2″ of the entire head. Place cut side up on the baking sheet and generously drizzle with olive oil. Roast tomatoes and garlic for 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, puree tomatoes in food processor until smooth. Pop garlic gloves out of skin (pinch the bottoms they will pop right out) and finely chop.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the sausage. Toss in the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are tender. Turn up the heat and pour in the white wine. Let everything simmer for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off. Stir in the pureed roasted tomatoes, Creole seasoning, and black pepper. Turn the heat down to low. Add chicken broth if sauce is too thick. It should be a bit thinner than tomato soup.

In a separate saucepan, bring heavy cream and water to a boil. Add grits and cook over low heat with lid on for 12-14 minutes. Stir in cheeses and garlic once the grits are done.

While grits are cooking, add shrimp to the sauce and turn heat up to medium. Depending on the size, shrimp will need to simmer in the sauce about 5 to 7 minutes to be cooked through.

Serve hot with scallion and/or chopped parsley and Tabasco to taste if you want to add some heat..


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