Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits with creole

After moving to Austin 7 years ago, I quickly fell in love with this southern staple.  It’s spicy, savory, and makes a hearty brunch or dinner.  I use quick cooking grits (not instant, the ones that cook in 10-15 minutes are so much better!) to make this dish really easy.  Instead of cooking the grits according to the package directions, I substitute half of the water for milk, and add some fresh garlic and jalapeno to give it a kick.  This goes really well topped with my spicy Creole Sauce.

 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1-1 ½ lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

To make the grits:

1 tbsp. butter
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
¾ cup water
¾ cup milk
¾ cup quick grits
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

baconPreheat a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat, until chopped bacon sizzles when added.  Cook until crisp, approximately 10 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.  Remove grease, reserving 1 tbsp. for cooking the shrimp (see instructions below).  Return the skillet to medium heat and add chopped onion.  Sauté for approximately 10 minutes until onion starts to look caramelized.  When caramelized, remove from pan and set aside with crisp bacon.

Meanwhile, mix flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  After peeling and deveining the shrimp, rinse in a colander and pat dry with paper towel.  Place dried shrimp in a bowl with the flour mixture and combine to give it a light coating.  This will give it a nice brown crust when seared in reserved bacon grease.

To start the grits, melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low.  Once melted, add diced garlic and jalapeno and sauté until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.  Add milk and water, turning heat up to medium-high.   When starting to boil, add grits and simmer on low, stirring regularly.   Cook for approximately 10 minutes until desired consistency.  I like grits to have a decent amount of the water cooked out of them, so when you put a big scoop in your plate they hold their shape, like a scoop of rice or mashed potatoes.    Add salt, pepper and hot sauce and stir to combine.

shrimp

While grits are simmering, turn skillet back on to medium heat.  Add reserved bacon grease and place shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes.  Turn the shrimp it the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  Add cooked bacon and onion to the shrimp and toss to combine.

 

 

shrimp and grits - no creolePlace a large scoop of grits in a bowl and top with shrimp.  Add Creole Sauce if desired and garnish with green onions.

Enjoy! shrimp and grits with creole sauce

Creole Sauce

shrimp and grits with creole sauceI love this Creole Sauce, and I use it often.  I love heat, and this makes a savory, spicy addition to any dish, whether you are making blackened chicken with rice or  a savory Shrimp and Grits recipe.  I usually make a big batch when I make Shrimp and Grits and there is enough left to freeze 4 or 5 pint size containers.  This freezes really well and makes weeknight meals really easy.  My husband also loves it on fried eggs for breakfast!

 

 

Creole ingredientsIngredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
5 ribs of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 quart carton chicken broth (32 oz.)
creole spices1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
½ tsp. each of: cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter

Over medium heat, add olive oil to large pot and sauté onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, celery, garlic and green onions, for approximately 5 minutes, or until starting to soften.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes and spices and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer approximately 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and spices are blended.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter.  Serve over shrimp and grits, blackened chicken or something delicious.

Enjoy!Shrimp and grits with creole