I’m not gonna lie. This dish was kind of amazing. I finally made Shrimp and Grits for the first time in my life and was immediately upset when I realized that it was so easy and seriously delicious that I should have made it years ago.
The grits were cheesy and buttery. The shrimp in its sauce had a nice kick and the bacon provided a crispy, fatty taste. Overall, it was pretty freakin’ amazing. I would make this recipe again in a heartbeat. Don’t be like me and wait too long to make this for yourself.
1 cup white or yellow stone-ground grits
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup grated Gruyère
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
4 slices thick bacon, chopped
1 lb. medium shrimp (about 30), peeled, with no tails
Freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ cup chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice,
lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
½ tsp. hot sauce
4 scallions, thinly sliced
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in grits. Cook, whisking frequently, until grits are tender and creamy. This took about 30–35 minutes. I also added water to the grits along the way to thin them out. They were too course and dry for my liking at first but everyone’s tastes are different so be sure to taste the grits along the way.
Once you get the grits to a smooth consistency, whisk in the cheddar, Gruyere, 3 tbsp. butter and season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Set grits aside to a very low heat to stay warm while you cook the shrimp.
Heat your canola or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy. If you use thin sliced bacon here you will definitely need more than 4 pieces of bacon because of how much they’ll shrink up while frying. Once the bacon is cooked, transfer the bacon to a plate covered with paper towels to soak up the excess grease and become more crisp. Keep the frying pan warm..
Then, season the raw shrimp generously with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, turning once, until bright pink. This should take about 2 minutes on each side. Once all the shrimp is cooked, transfer the shrimp to a different plate with a slotted spoon, ;eaving the tasty juices in the pan.
Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook the garlic until golden (about 1 minute while stirring). Be careful to not burn the garlic like I almost did…
Once the garlic is a nice golden brown color, raise the heat to high, add chicken broth, and scrape bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon to mix up the delicious garlic, bacon and shrimp bits. Cook this broth about 3 minutes until it thickens. Then return the shrimp to the skillet along with the lemon juice, remaining butter, and hot sauce. Cook this while stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. See below for a delicious garlic butter bacon shrimp bath. Yum.
Once the shrimp has simmered for a minute in the garlic butter bacon shrimp sauce, split the grits into 4 bowls and top with the shrimp and its sauce. Garnish each bowl with bacon, scallions, and lemon wedges (optional). Feel free to add more hot sauce on top of the shrimp and grits if you need an extra kick.
If you’ve tried this recipe, tell me your thoughts in the comments section!