With origins that go back to the Muskogee tribe of the Creek Native Americans, shrimp and grits are Southern comfort food. Sometimes referred to as Breakfast Shrimp, this Low Country staple is a must-try for any shrimp lover.
If you’ve ever eaten it, you know why shrimp and grits are no longer confined to seaside shrimp shanties but are now famous as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner food even in some of the finest restaurants.
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup stone-ground white grits (Never yellow)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 thick slices of bacon
- 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- Juice of a lemon, about 1-2 Tbsp
- Sauté bacon, render fat: In a large sauté pan, fry the bacon using medium heat until it is crispy. Remove the pan from the heat and then the bacon from the pan. Place bacon on paper towels to absorb excess fat. Remove bacon fat from the pan reserving 3 tablespoons. When the bacon has cooled, chop the bacon.
- Prepare the grits: In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil. Gradually add the grits into the boiling water. Continuously stir with a wooden spoon as you add the grips to avoid any lumps. Add salt. When the grits are fully incorporated in the boiling water, lower the heat to a low simmer and cook for 35 minutes, stirring often.
- 3 Chop the shrimp: Reserve about 1/3 of the shrimp leaving it whole. With the remaining shrimp, chop each piece into 3-4 pieces and set aside.
- Sauté onions, peppers, bacon, garlic, and shrimp: After the grits have cooked for about 30 minutes, place the saute pan with the reserved bacon fat over medium-high heat. When the bacon fat becomes hot, add the pepper and onion, sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, shrimp, and chopped bacon to the pan. Toss to combine—Cook for one minute.
- Add the stock: Add the chicken stock and boil for 5 minutes to reduce.
- Add butter and cheese: While the stock is reducing, add the butter and cheddar cheese to the grits. Add salt to taste.
- Serve: Spoon the desired amount of gits into individual bowls. Add to the shrimp the green onions, parsley, and lemon juice to taste. Add salt if it needs it. Top whole shrimp, ensuring that everyone has at least one. Serve immediately.