Monday, December 13, 2010

Shrimp and Grits

Since we visited family in New Orleans recently, I came back still craving the great food from that region.  I honestly feel sorry for people who cannot eat seafood, whether allergic to it or those who just cannot appreciate it.  I love the stuff and I'm willing to try most things!  Southern style Shrimp and Grits is one dish I've always thought about making but never undertook.....until now that is....

Of course you know I was determined to make it somewhat healthier than it's traditional whole stick of butter, heavy cream or more!  Below explains how I prepared it and why my husband called it, "The best shrimp and grits, healthier version without a tub of butter or three pounds of cheese in it!"  LOL!

Shrimp and Grits, My Lightened Up Version

(Serves 6)
Adapted from The Food Network

5 cups of water
1 cup of old fashioned grits
1 pound of medium size shrimp
1 garlic clove
1 can (15 oz) of corn, drained (optional)
2 cups of shredded, reduced fat cheeses - cheddar-monterey variety
3 tbsp butter + a few sprays of liquid butter
1/2 cup of diced green onions
1/2 cup of bacon bits
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
dash of paprika
dash of Cajun seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by peeling and deveining the shrimp if you haven't already done so.   The good thing about shrimp is that they are so easy to defrost.  Even if they are one large block, like mine were below, they can be ready to peel after just being placed under cool water for a few minutes:

The medium size shrimp are the best ones to use for this recipe, in my opinion.  They should be about this size, below:

Rinse and pat your shrimp dry.  Take the clove of garlic and rub it along a bowl with a few sprays of liquid butter.  Place the shrimp in the bowl while the grits are cooking.  This way they can soak up the garlic and butter flavor:

Let the shrimp sit while you make the grits.  Place a large sauce pan on your stove.  Bring the water to a boil in it.  Reduce heat.  Add the grits, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. 

Place heat to lowest setting.  Add in the shredded cheese and butter.  Add in the salt, pepper, paprika and Cajun seasonings.

In a separate skillet, prepare to cook your remaining ingredients.  Generously grease that skillet with cooking spray.  Toss in the bacon bits, green onions, corn, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and additional seasonings if needed.  Toss in the shrimp that's been soaking in butter and garlic.  Sautee together for about seven minutes or until shrimp are cooked.  (Cook's Note: Shrimp don't take long to cook.  Do not overcook as they will become chewy).

You can choose to serve the skillet shrimp mixed in with the grits, like I did.  Or you can serve them on top of the grits mixture like many southern style restaurants do. 

What can I say?  I'm a mix it up kind of gal!  I like my food to play together!  :-)

This was so tasty.  And I love that they were flavorful without a whole lot of butter, cream or fat as they are normally prepared!

Enjoy!  I served mine with bread a side of sweet potato patties.


  1. Do you know I've never had shrimp and grits and lived pretty much my whole life in Georgia?!?!

  2. Mandy, that looks delicious! Thanks, girl for the recipe!! I'm definitely going to try that version.