This spicy shrimp and grits recipe was very necessary after a hectic weekend. I needed a little reminder of my vacay with the ladies. A while ago my friends and I headed down to New Orleans for some good food and music. And that was just what New Orleans delivered. I couldn’t have asked for better food or a better time. It was just what I needed. No matter where we were, whether in a restaurant or a friend’s home, everything was delicious. So with the hectic weekend we’ve had and no sign of a break in sight, I’m missing New Orleans. Just a little.
So you know what I decided to do? I set out to create a little New Orleans comfort. I needed something quick and easy. The last couple of days have been a whirlwind and I just did’t have time for anything too involved. What cooks up quick? Grits. What else? Shrimp. Shrimp and grits it is. A New Orleans inspired, spicy shrimp and grits would do just fine. I couldn’t spice the shrimp too much (mini me wouldn’t be able to eat it) so I left a lot of the heat off initially and added it to my plate later.
Of course, this is your shrimp and grits so if you like spice add some more cayenne and red pepper flakes up front. The only other thing you’d need is some charbroiled oysters. Yum!!
Spicy Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
- 1 pound of shrimp (peeled & deveined shrimp)
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- green onions for garnish
- 1 cup of quick grits
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz of extra sharp Vermont white cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 4 oz of sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Over medium heat bring 4 cups of water and salt to a boil.
- In a cold frying pan, fry bacon over medium low heat until crispy. Remove from pan.
- (Yes, I’m cooking bacon on the stove. But only so I can sauté the shrimp in bacon grease. It’s good to reuse… it’s environmentally friendly! And delicious!)
- Once water is boiling stir in grits. After about 10 minutes grits will thicken.
- Add butter to the grits and stir. Turn the heat to low and stir every couple of minutes.
- After 15 – 20 minutes add shredded cheddar cheese to the grits a handful at a time. Stir, stir, stir.
- Mix garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin in a bowl or a plastic bag. Add shrimp and coat with mixture.
- Over medium heat, sauté shrimp in frying pan with bacon. Sauté for 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are pink. (Based on size, shrimp may only take 3 minutes to cook.)
Now for the pièce de résistance … you get it… it’s French… New Orleans… ha, ha, ha.
Make your plate. Cheesy grits on the bottom, then shrimp, crumble the bacon on top, sprinkle whatever else you want on top. More cheese…yes please. Green onions. I’ll take those too.
*NOTE: More red pepper flakes, jalapeño peppers and/or cayenne pepper can be added to the shrimp once you’ve removed the shrimp for those with a less tolerable palate. In the end, I added more red pepper and pepper jack cheese to my grits. Yum!!