Honestly I never intended to share this recipe, not because it’s not good (it’s amazeballs), but because when I made it, I was a MySpace blogger and the friend I got it from had already posted it on her own MySpace blog. We had the same group of foodie friends that all read each others blogs, so it seemed redundant to repost the recipe. Now I wish I had, as I now forget exactly how I did it. I like to give very specific measurements & instructions, but Cheryl gave measurements like, “a mess of shrimp.” You could never tell she’s from the south, right? :) I kept the instructions in her voice, but did change a few things for clarity.
To give you an idea of how good this dish is, Dennis, who refuses to eat shrimp, ate an entire plate and enjoyed it. He has only eaten shrimp in my presence on one other occasion (on this pizza, which is also amazeballs, if I do say so myself) and he told me he would never do it again unless it was these shrimp ‘n grits. I think that qualifies this as life-changing. :)
Southern Shrimp & Cheese Grits
5 slices of bacon
1 mess of fresh shrimp (I used a bag of frozen shrimp, thawed)
4-8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
3 garlic gloves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons flour (for roux)
A few slices of ham
2 cups of coarse home-style grits, plus ingredients called for on box
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
Start off by frying your bacon. While that’s going, clean and peel your fresh shrimp and set them aside.
Remove the bacon from the pan and set it aside. Drain all but 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan, and add your mushrooms. Saute for a few minutes until starting to soften, then add the shrimp, scallions, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using.
While that cooks, in another pot start your grits by the directions given on the bag. Cook until thick, stirring constantly (nobody likes lumpy grits-lol). Stir in the cheese, and set aside.
Meanwhile lets gets back to the Shrimp! After shrimp is done (it will turn pink), season with salt and pepper, then take it out and set it aside. Now we are starting on the roux (gravy). In the same pan add your flour then add your water and stir till thickened. I do this using a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
Dice up your ham and break up your cooked bacon. I guess my mixture was watery (I remember adding the mushrooms to the skillet at the same time as the shrimp, and I think that prevented the water from them evaporating) and I drained it and added the ham, cooked bacon, and red pepper flakes while it was in the colander. If you follow these updated instructions, hopefully you won’t have to drain yours.
Add your grits to a plate, put your sautéed shrimp & mushrooms, ham, mushrooms, on top of grits then spoon gravy on top and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
Recipe source: Cheryl D.