No Bacon Necessary
Grilled Cajun Shrimp & Cheese Grits
Music: "Number of One" from the mixtape Mother Superior & Paper Hearts by aCloudedhed
My love affair with grits started later in life. Growing up in NY, my only knowledge of grits was limited to the scene in My Cousin Vinnie when Joe Pesci discovered the difference between regular and quick grits.
Sad, I know I was sheltered from grits for too long! Once I had my first order of shrimp & grits in Savannah, GA- I was hooked!!
I thought I would try to make it at home- on a whim. I was so shocked by the ridiculously delicious meal I had created!
What resulted was the ultimate comfort food: cheesy creamy grits smothered with an out of this world vegetable gravy and shrimp grilled to perfection...No need to add bacon to these grits, they are divine! Make this often!!!!
Grilled Cajun Shrimp & Cheesy Grits
Shrimp (peeled, deveined, butterflied)
Bayou Blast Seasoning (or Cajun Spice)
- Sprinkle a generous amount of bayou blast seasoning & a healthy drizzle of oil on shrimp. Toss to coat.
- Grill shrimp on bbq or a hot grill pan, turning them to cook on all sides. Shrimp are done when dark grill marks and a crust develops.
Gravy for Shrimp n Grits:
1 T Butter (unsalted)
1 T Canola Oil
Zucchini (2-3 inch piece, Thinly Chopped)
1/4 Red Pepper (thinly Chopped)
1/4 White Onion ( thinly Chopped)
1-2 t Cayenne Pepper
1-2 t Chili Powder
1-2 t Paprika
1-2 t Garlic Powder
1-2 t Old Bay
1-2 t Sea Salt
1-2 t Black Pepper
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1T All Purpose Flour
1/4 C White Wine
6 Cubes of Vegetable Broth (approx. 1/4 C)
1 T Hot Sauce
* Please note- adjust amount of spice based on your preference. Start with a little (1-2t), you can always add more.*
- Heat a frying pan, add butter and canola oil.
- Sauté peppers, onions, and zucchini over medium heat.
- Add 1 t cayenne pepper, 1 t salt, 1 t black pepper, 1 t chili powder, 1 t old bay seasoning, 1 t garlic powder, and fresh garlic.
- Cook for approximately 2 minutes.
- Deglaze pan with white wine.
- Once wine is absorbed, whisk in flour.
- Add vegetable broth and whisk until the mix combines into a sauce. Simmer the sauce until until it thickens a bit into a gravy and you achieve your desired consistency.
- Add hot sauce. Taste gravy, add more seasoning if needed.
I loosely follow the directions on the back of the package of grits for best results. I used to use Trader Joe's Stone Ground Grits- but they have since discontinued the item (whomp whomp). Now I use what I can find- I stay away from instant though.
Once the grits are cooked I season with salt & pepper to taste and stir in Cheddar Cheese. How much cheese? Start with 1/4 cup and go from there- don't want them too cheesy or not cheesy enough.
Tip 1: Do not stringently adhere to the cooking time on the package. While grits should have a bit of bite- they should be creamy and melt in your mouth. I always end up cooking grits longer than the package calls for.
Tip 2: It is nearly impossible to add too much butter to grits. Don't be afraid to add butter- grits are filling you will not be eating huge portions- so don't sweat adding more butter than you are used to.
Tip 3: I like my grits creamy so I typically add more milk than what is called for on the package directions. Start with what the directions call for then add in small amounts if necessary. FYI, unlike butter, you can easily add too much milk- so be mindful.
Tip 4: when reheating grits, add a bit of milk/butter to return the grits to their full glory.
Ladle vegetable gravy over cheesy grits. Top with Grilled Shrimp and Green Onions.
** Warning: this meal is deceptively delicious- you will get hooked! **