Carrie took a trip to South Carolina a few months ago, and brought me back a large bag of stone ground grits, a food I love but is impossible to find in Oregon where we live. When we were looking for something to make for dinner the other night she found this recipe. Most traditional shrimp and grits recipes include a spicy andouille sausage, so this was a surprisingly lighter alternative with bacon instead.
This will be our go-to recipe for shrimp and grits in the future. The acid from the lemon juice does a great job cutting through the fat from the bacon and the cheese in the grits. The combination of flavors is much more refreshing that you would expect from this southern classic. Give it a try, this is awesome!
SHRIMP AND GRITS
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large
- 6 slices bacon, chopped into tiny pieces
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- To make the shrimp and grits recipe, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.
- Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the skillet and saute over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Immediately add the lemon juice, parsley, green onions, and garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with the bacon bits.