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Creole Shrimp and Grits —bacon seared shrimp coated in a creole spiced sauce spooned over buttery gruyere cheese grits.
This shrimp and grits recipe puts a unique spin on the traditional. The shrimp are dusted with creole seasoning, pan-seared in bacon drippings, and simmered in a rich creole sauce. It is then served over buttery peppery gruyere cheese grits. To finish, thick-cut bacon crumbles, diced plum tomatoes, and scallions speckle the top. We are talking about a shut yo’ mouth situation! This recipe is all of that.
What is shrimp and grits?
Shrimp and grits is a southern comfort classic. It is traditionally served in the Deep South as a breakfast meal but has become a main meal throughout the country. That being said, it should come as no surprise that there are many, many ways to make this dish. Do an internet search and you will see that there is no set “way” to make shrimp and grits. It really is a matter of taste preference. As long as you have shrimp and grits you can make this dish literally any way you want.
Creole shrimp and grits ingredients
Thick cut bacon
White cooking wine
Quick cook grits
Gruyere cheese– I’m using gruyere but you can use any kind of cheese you prefer. Gruyere has a sharpness to it so either extra sharp white cheddar or parmesan could substitute.
I use quick-cooking grits. There isn’t much to making grits besides flavoring them afterward. You’re basically following the package directions according to the amount you want. The instructions here are for 4-5 servings of 5-minute grits.
Bring to boil 2 cups of chicken stock or water over medium heat. Stir in the grits. Allow them to thicken and cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes stirring consistently. Once they are done, remove the pot from the heat and add the butter, cream, and cheese.
Start by cooking the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Crumble the bacon and set it aside. Drain all but 1-2 tbsp of fat from the bacon. Return the reserved bacon fat to the skillet over medium to low heat. Season the shrimp then sear on both sides in the bacon fat. Set the cooked shrimp in a dish.
Lower the heat and add the butter followed by the garlic. When the butter is melted add the celery, red and green peppers, and onion. Let them sauté until softened. Then add in the tomato paste and remaining seasoning. Stir to coat.
Pour in the white wine or stock. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes then return the shrimp. Coat the shrimp in the sauce and finish with lemon juice. Remove the heat and set aside.
Plate the cheese grits and spoon the creole shrimp over the top. Garnish with crumbled bacon, diced plum tomatoes, and sliced scallion.
More classic southern recipes to enjoy
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Creole Shrimp and Grits
- 1 1/2 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon cut in half
- 1/2 c yellow onion diced
- 1/2 c red pepper diced
- 1/2 c green pepper diced
- 1 celery rib finely diced
- 6 tbsp salted butter
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 c white cooking wine or chicken stock
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp creole seasoning
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1 plum tomato seeded and diced
- 1-2 scallions thinly sliced
- 3/4 c quick-cooking grits
- 2 c chicken stock or water
- 4 oz gruyere cheese
- 1 c heavy cream
- 4 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the Creole seasoning with the kosher salt. Season the shrimp with the ½ of salted creole seasoning and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon strips until crisp. Remove the bacon to drain and crumble; set aside.
- Drain the bacon fat from the pan and reserve 2 tbsp. Add the 2 tbsp of back fat back to the skillet and sear the shrimp in an even layer on both sides until fully cooked; about 1 ½ minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook them in batches if necessary. Remove the cooked shrimp and set aside.
- Drop the heat to low and add the butter and garlic. Allow the butter melt and the garlic to become fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium then follow with the onion, red and green peppers, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened; 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, remaining creole seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and add the white cooking wine. Bring it to a boil then return the shrimp to the pan with any juices in the resting dish. Stir well and finish with the juice of half a lemon.
- Bring to boil 2 cups of chicken stock over medium heat. Stir in the grits. Allow them to thicken and cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes stirring consistently. Once prepared, add cheese, heavy cream, butter, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese melts and the grits are smooth.
- Serve the shrimp and sauce over the cheesy grits topped with diced plum tomato, scallions, and crumbled bacon.