Full disclosure- I did not grow up eating grits, I grew up in Ohio. In fact, the
first only time my mom ever made grits was a few months ago. Grits or breakfast potatoes? I’m always going to choose the potatoes. Living in Charleston, it seems that every menu includes Shrimp n Grits. I’ve sampled this low-country staple at a few restaurants and you can find my favorite at Hanks Seafood. It’s spicy and delicious and a great comfort meal.
A few nights ago, we had some leftover spicy shrimp from our shrimp tacos the night before so we decided to try our hands at shrimp and grits. Ben and I went back to the Farmer’s Market in Summerville on Saturday to get andouille sausage. The booth there has samples of all of their sausages so we tried a few kinds. The spicy andouille was perfect for what we needed. At first, I was a little nervous about making Shrimp and Grits. I was worried about the grits not turning out or the shrimp getting too done and rubbery. There’s nothing worse than a tough, rubbery shrimp. But, it ended up working out just fine. I’ll make this recipe again but I’m also interested in trying out other styles of this southern favorite.
For the Grits:
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 cup stone-ground yellow grits
1 tsp red pepper flakes
handful(s) cheddar cheese
Bring the milk, cream, salt, pepper, and butter to a boil over medium high heat. Stir in the grits and red pepper flakes. Stir intermittently. When the consistence is ready, in about 12-15 minutes, add in the cheese and stir.
For the Shrimp:
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1lb andouille sausage
1/3c all-pourpose flour
2c chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 1/2-2 lbs shrimp, peeled and devined
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and black pepper
2tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2-4 scallions, sliced
Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, sauté for a few minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until the sausage is browned. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaves and let the sauce simmer. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the shrimp- poaching until they are pink and just cooked through. Add the cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, hot sauce (if you like), and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and scallions. Spoon the grits into a bowl and top with the shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.
Tips when making this dish:
- Heat up the large skillet for the shrimp when the milk/cream mixture for the grits starts to boil
- As soon as the shrimp turn pink on both sides, they’re done, continue on to the next steps quickly so you don’t over cook them
- Try adding thick cut bacon pieces when you add the sausage if that sounds good to you
- Use whatever cheese you prefer, I used a mexican blend and the grits were amazing!
- Ask your boyfriend to peel and devein the shrimp while you are prepping everything else
- Heat up the leftovers for lunch the next day! This recipe makes a lot!
If you try this recipe, leave a note in the comments to tell me how it turned out! I’d love to hear from you!