If someone were to ask me what is the most quintessential “Southern Dish” (besides fried chicken 😉 ) my answer would definitely be shrimp & grits. There is something about it that is so comforting but fancy at the same time. Which is the perfect description of the South!
Since moving to Jackson, Mississippi we have been so spoiled by friends & neighbors. Within the first week of moving here we felt like we had lived here for 2+ years. I kid you not, all of our surrounding neighbors brought us lunch or dinner right after we moved in.
This is the type of dish that is BEYOND easy to make, but guaranteed to impress! The creamy cheddar grits combined with the shrimp and crispy bacon is a match made in heaven! The key to all the flavor? Sautéing the shrimp & mushrooms in bacon grease with a little bit of lemon juice and Tabasco sauce. Another great example of living in the South is this beautiful vintage china! A near and dear friend gave these plates to me that were her mother’s. How sweet & southern is that?!
Shrimp & Cheddar Grits
YIELDS 4 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
2 cups quick grits
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 stick unsalted butter, diced
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 slices bacon, diced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
8 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 lemon sliced for garnish (optional)
- Using a dutch oven, bring the chicken stock, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a boil.
- Add the quick grits and turn the heat down to low.
- Stir until combined and place the lid on.
- With the heat on low, simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Add the diced butter and grated cheese. Stir for 1 minute.
- Add the heavy cream, and stir until combined. Replace the lid to keep warm.
- In a large skillet, fry the diced bacon until crispy over medium-high heat.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Be sure to leave as much of the remaining bacon grease in the skillet.
- Turn the heat down to medium.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, shrimp, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce.
- Cook until the shrimp turn pink. About 2-3 minutes per side.
- To serve, ladle the cheddar grits onto a plate and top with the shrimp using a slotted spoon.
- Sprinkle the bacon and chopped green onions over the shrimp.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon.