Shrimp and grits- something I had NEVER eaten before Rob and I moved to the Charleston area, and now it seems I can’t get enough. I like experimenting with different variations on this meal, and this one was pretty tasty. Plus it has bacon, so of course it’s already a winner.
Creole style shrimp and grits (recipe adapted from ‘South Carolina shrimp and grits’ from Southern Living, off the eaten path)
For the shrimp and gravy:
4 slices cooked bacon
1 small yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 TBSP creole style seasoning (add more if you like it with an extra kick)
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce (low sodium)
1 1/4 cup beef broth (low sodium)
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
For the grits:
3/4 stone ground white corn grits (I use Palmetto farms)
3/4 cups milk (I actually use 2% and they come out great, but real Southerners always recommend whole milk)
3 TBSP unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
Directions to make the grits:
1. Place the grits in a large bowl and cover with water by about an inch. Allow to soak for 5 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
2. In a 3-4 qt. saucepan, combine 2 cups of water with the milk and 1 tsp kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
3. Gradually whisk in the grits and reduce the heat to low.
4. Simmer grits over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, until they are thick but tender. You want to whisk the grits about every 3-5 minutes during the cooking process. Finish grits with the 3 TBSP butter and whisk until combined.
Directions to make the shrimp and gravy (start this when the grits are about halfway done cooking):
1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove when done.
2. To the same skillet, over medium heat, add the chopped onion and red bell pepper. Cook until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir until flour is incorporated and the flavor is cooked out- about 1 minute.
4. Add the creole seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and shrimp, Cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
5. Add the beef broth and continue to stir constantly, about 4 more minutes, until the shrimp are pink and the sauce has thickened.
Ladle the grits into a soup bowl (a shallow, wide bowl). Top with the shrimp/gravy mixture and finish with the crispy cooked bacon.