As a southerner, I grew up eating grits. In fact, my dear grandmother had choice words for a local restaurant that served grits not up to her south Georgia standards. My eldest daughter was just a couple of days old, and with family in to visit, my husband watched the baby so my dad and grandmother could take me out to breakfast. After tasting the grits at the locally-owned and operated restaurant in my Virginia hometown, my grandmother could barely wait for the server to ask about the meal so that she could tell them that those were the worst grits she had ever tasted in all of her 73 years, and she had lived all over the country. We still laugh about it 20 years later!
Grits with shrimp sounded like some northern twist on a sacred southern staple when I first heard about it, but I can honestly say that this is one of my all time favorite dishes. I have to admit that I am guilty of throwing in more than the 2 ounces of cheddar that the recipe calls for, but where cheese is concerned more is almost always better. Enjoy!
Shrimp and Grits with Red Peppers
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup quick grits
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
Shrimp and Red Pepper:
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 12 oz. frozen medium raw shrimp, thawed, peeled, and patted dry
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a covered medium saucepan. Add grits and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the grits are done. Remove from heat and stir in remaining grits ingredients, mixing well. Cover until shrimp is done. While grits are cooking, combine shrimp, oil, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well until shrimp is evenly coated. Spray a large non-stick skillet with olive oil spray and heat on medium high until pan is hot. Add red pepper dices and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Add shrimp mixture to pan in a single layer and cook on medium high for 2-3 minutes without stirring. After 2-3 minutes, stir and cook until shrimp is done (shrimp will be opaque in the center). Remove pan from heat and mix in red pepper dices and green onions. When grits are done, divide grits into 4 bowls, sprinkle the cheese (divided the 1 oz evenly between the bowls) on top of grits, and top with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.