Ever since my trip to the low country, Northern Georgia, South Carolina, last winter, and I had shrimp and grits, I have been a big fan. Here is the picture of the shrimp and grits I had in Birmingham, Alabama.
I purchased a 5LB bag from a small local mill, and have since used it all. There a few different ways to make grits. Grit are basically course corn meal. The white corn variety is not found much up north, so I use the yellow often labeled polenta.
Grit are basically a corn porridge. The recipe I am sharing uses milk, and cheese, and it is topped with saute shrimp. Broiled shrimp, or grilled shrimp are great too. I sometimes use sausage instead of shrimp, or use these cheese grits as a starch side dish for other meals.
Shrimp and Grits: Serves Four
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk
1 cup of grits (or polenta)
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parm cheese
4 pieces of bacon
4 scallions slices small
2 cloves of minced garlic
juice of 1 lemon
Old Bay seasoning
1 pound of shrimp
In a sauce pan, bring the water, milk, and cream to a boil. Stir in the grits. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mean while, peel and de-vain the shrimp, and dust with some old bay seasoning.
In a saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp, and chop into a small dice. Remove the fat from the pan.
In the same saute pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute in the butter for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, in batches if you need to, and saute for 1-2 per side until they turn pink. squeeze the lemon juice on top of shrimp.
When the grits are done, add both cheeses and stir. Serve the grits in a bowl, grate more parm cheese on top, top with shrimp and garnish with scallion and bacon.
Add pepper to taste.
Vegetarian Version: Omit the shrimp, and bacon, and add two thick sliced onions, and two red peppers cut into strips. Cook the polenta and add the cheese. Saute the onions and peppers in butter, and add some smoked paprika and pepper to taste. Garnish with scallions.