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Shrimp and Cheese Grits

I spent five months housesitting in Tennessee a few years back. I learned to cook with collard greens, okra and attended more than a few church potlucks. Southern food is comfort food at its best. Grits might not be so easy to find up here in Canada but if you ever see them, snap them up. They are a quick and easy nutritious meal. This recipe is an all time favourite.

Shrimp and Cheese Grits
Grits are a truly American food. They are made from dried yellow or white corn that is ground and then boiled. It can be purchased in its original form that is long cooking or quicker cooking varieties. This dish was considered a basic fisherman’s breakfast during shrimp season. Now it is served at any meal either as a side dish or the main course. Polenta or cornmeal can be substituted for grits but they are more finely ground and will produce a creamier dish.
2 c. water 500 mL
2 c. half and half cream 500 mL
2 tbsp. chopped red pepper 30 mL
1 tsp. salt 5 mL
1 c. stoneground grits 250 mL
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese 250 mL
2 tbsp. butter 30 mL
Pepper to taste
Bring water, cream, butter, red pepper and salt to a boil in a 3-qt. (4 L) saucepan. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook stirring often, about 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Season with pepper, to taste.
2 bacon slices
1 lb. peeled, medium-size raw shrimp 500 g
1/8 tsp. salt 1 mL
1/4 tsp. pepper 2 mL
1/4 c. all purpose flour 60 mL
2 tsp. oil 10 mL
1/2 c. chopped green onions 125 mL
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. chicken broth 125 mL
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 30 mL
1/4 tsp. hot sauce 2 mL
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until crisp, remove and drain on paper towels, reserving one-teaspoon (5 mL) drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Sauté green onions 2 minutes. Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly browned. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Spoon shrimp mixture over the hot grits. Garnish with crumbled bacon and serve with a hot sauce such as sriachi. Serves 4. (Adapted from Southern Living)


  1. I live these days in the deep south and OMG they take their grits seriously. You did a fantastic job. Your Tennessee friends would be proud.

    If you ever need grits, and can't find them, let me know. I will gladly send you some.


  2. Grits are an acquired taste, to be sure. I had a hard time getting used to them when I moved to Tennessee; I found that I like grits best when they have a slightly sweet flavor, like cream of wheat.


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