You would think that I have eaten shrimp and grits for most of my life since I am part southern girl. But, the truth is I just discovered shrimp and grits about 4 or 5 years ago while having lunch with my in-laws. My brother and sister in-law came to the east coast on business so my hubby and I drove down to Washington, DC to meet them. We don’t often get to see our mid-west family so it was great to sit around and catch up on what our kids were doing and life in general.
During our very long chat a chorus of stomach growling could be heard loud and clear. It didn’t take too long for us to decide we needed to get some lunch and stop the hunger-music-blues. We found a wonderful restaurant with an interior garden full of tall trees and huge leafy plants. I can’t remember what I had for lunch but I definitely remember the shrimp and grits my sister-in-law ordered. The smell of the shrimp was intoxicating and because she is a wonderful person my sister-in-law let me taste her shrimp and grits. I instantly became a fan!
Trying to recreate the shrimp and grits I had in DC became my goal when we got home. What I finally came up with may not taste exactly like the shrimp and grits I discovered in DC but I must say it is pretty good. The flavors are well balanced with smoky flavors and a hint of spiciness.
Thanks Sis for introducing me to a fantastic dish and awakening me to more of my southern roots.
Shrimp and Grits
1 1/2 lb of large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 slices of bacon sliced
2 14 oz scans fire roasted tomatoes
¼ cup green onions sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp black ground pepper
2 tsp salt
½ tsp old bay seasonings
½ Adobo seasoning
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup diced green pepper
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced onion
2 cups of water
1 cup low sodium chicken stock or broth
½ cup half and half
1 cup coarsely ground grits
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Stir in half and half then add grits and reduce to medium heat. Cook until thick and tender approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted and well blended. Set aside and keep warm. Add a little milk if needed to thin out grits.
In a bowl mix shrimp, remaining salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large skillet cook bacon until crispy over medium heat. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. Add butter and garlic to bacon drippings. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to medium low and stir roux until dark brown. Be careful not to burn the roux. Whisk in chicken stock then add peppers, onions and shrimp. Cook until veggies are softened and shrimp are pink but not tough.
Place grits into individual bowls and top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, green onions and parsley.