Shrimp & Cheese Grits

Shrimp and grits is said to have begun as a fisherman’s breakfast, created by shrimpers using the day’s catch. Original recipes called for sauteing the small local shrimp in butter and serving the seafood as a topping for creamy, stone ground grits.

  • 1 ½ lb. Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs. All-purpose flour
  • 6 oz. Bacon slices, cut into ½” dice, fried until crispy, fat reserved
  • 1/3 lb. White button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions, white and light green portions
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • Grits with cheese for serving

Pat shrimp dry and put in shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss with flour to coat evenly. In fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tbs. Bacon fat. Working in batches, brown shrimp until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Return pan to medium-high heat; warm 2 tbs. Bacon fat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add shrimp and accumulated juices, bacon, green onions, tomatoes, stock, lemon juice and Tabasco. Cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp are opaque, 2-3 minutes. Divide grits among 6 bowls; top with shrimp mixture, serve immediately.