Shrimp + Grits + Cocktail
This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been down this shrimp and grits road before… and I’ve taken you with me. My last encounter with a warm dish of creamy grits and spicy shrimp was served to a gentleman whose only remark was that I had failed to remove the tails from the shrimp before serving them to him. Really, dude? Really!? So ended that short relationship (not really… but sort of… FOR REAL).
I needed a redo. Not for flavor’s sake, just for my own self… and because I totally just wanted a giant bowl of this madness.
New dating rule #37: I graciously and happily remove a cooked shrimp tail for every car door that is graciously opened for me. Respect, yo!
ps. I don’t actually have thirty-seven dating rules. I do, however, have two giant bowls of lunch. Who’s counting (I am).
I made these Shrimp + Grits with my friend Jonathan. I bought the shrimp, he crashed my house with beer, cucumber, and lime… and we shot pictures on the floor by my front door (see Instagram) (we’re really fancy).
Jonathan made a bonkers cocktail to pair with the Shrimp + Grits… a Cucumber Blonde Bloody Mary. It’s fizzy and refreshing. It’s takes the tomato thickness out of the traditional Bloody Mary and makes this cocktail truly gulp-able. In addition to being an awesome bringer-of-cocktails-to-my-house, Jonathan is also an incredible photographer, baker… and he’s obsessed with my cat. All the things I look for in a friend.
If you need some Shrimp + Grits inspiration, you’ve totally come to the right place.
You can count on two things when Shrimp + Grits come out of my kitchen: the grits will be cheesy, and the shrimp will be buttery.
Please don’t call the diet police.
Grits are cooked up with a hearty handful of sharp cheddar cheese and a big pat of butter. Salt and too coarsely ground black pepper make nice additions.
Before cooking up the shrimp, I sautéed spicy Italian sausage with a bit of garlic. The sausage adds another level of flavor and spice with a saltiness that speaks to my heart.
Green onions, a good squeeze of lemon, and fresh parsley are added as bright finishing touches.
This is my comfort. I’d like a pillow made out of Shrimp + Grits.
No… wait. That’s impossible. Instead I’d like a pillow made out of Chocolate Chip Challah, with a side of Shrimp + Grits.
That makes no sense, and yet I’m going to let it stand.
Shrimp + Grits is cornmeal gruel brought to its highest level. It’s warm and comforting, and really… make sure you only take the tails off the shrimp for someone you really love. It’s worth waiting for.
Spicy shrimp + Cold Beer Bloody Mary… such a major win!
Shrimp + Grits
4 cups water
1 cup stone ground grits (also known as polenta)
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage (I used two uncooked links)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined without the tails
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
Bring water to a boil. Add grits to the boiling water while whisking to prevent clumps. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Lower heat, bring to simmer and cover until water is absorbed. Follow the directions on your box of grits or polenta. Cooking times vary, my coarse grits cooked up in about 15 minutes. Once thick, remove from heat and stir in butter and shredded cheese.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook up the sausage. Remove the meat from the casing (if it’s in one) and break the meat into small bits with a spoon as it cooks. Once the meat is cooked through, add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice, scallions, and parsley. Cook for another three minutes.
Spoon the grits into a serving bowl and top with shrimp mixture. Serve happily.