We DO love us some shrimp and grits in this house. We love them in their classic form, which is regular shrimp served with regular grits. We love them in their fancy forms, when you add things like artichoke hearts or sausage to the mix. We love them with marinara sauce, when the grits part is actually polenta, which is close enough that I tell the trusting Southern husband that we are having shrimp and grits with marinara sauce. (Close enough!) They are the ultimate delicious comfort food, and for the longest time I thought there was no way to improve on the wonder that is shrimp and grits. Then…I got an idea.
The Southern husband grew up with them and has always loved them with a deep and abiding love. He will take his shrimp and grits any old way they come.
Anyway, the only issue I had with my whole shrimp and grits/comfort food thing is that I like to eat all forms of comfort food with a spoon. Ideally out of a Peter Rabbit bowl, but the spoon is vital. And with all my other forms of shrimp and grits, a knife and fork are required to spear the shrimp and cut it into bite sized pieces. That’s when I got the brainstorm.
What if I cooked up the shrimp with some Old Bay, cooled them down a little and gave them a rough chop into bite-sized pieces? What if I then stirred them into the cooked grits so that every bite of the grits had a little bit of shrimp in it? What if I also added cheese to the grits just to send them over the edge into grits comfort food perfection?
- I cup grits, cooked according to package directions (I like the Anson Mills variety)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the grits according to package directions.
- While the grits are cooking, bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Add the Old Bay and shrimp and cook just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Drain the shrimp and roughly chop them into bite sized pieces. Set aside until grits are done.
- When grits are done, stir in butter and cheese until both are melted. Season to taste with salt.
- Stir in chopped shrimp. Ladle into warmed bowls and grind some pepper on top. Serve at once.