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THE CONFIDENT COOK

Recipe: Next weekend make this Southern classic with 5-minute grits topped with shrimp

Shrimp and Grits.
Shrimp and Grits.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

Perhaps best for brunch on a weekend, Southern shrimp and grits is a warm-you-from-the-inside kind of dish. Five-minute grits are readily available and make the meal prep a breeze. Grits is a cornmeal porridge similar to Italian polenta. Simmer the grits with stock or water and stir in cheddar cheese and butter to finish it. Keep them warm while you cook the shrimp. You can also use regular grits, which will take longer, up to an hour of steady stirring for stoneground grits; follow the package instructions. But don't start the shrimp and its sauce till the grits are done because the shrimp take so little time to cook. First make a classic roux with butter and flour to thicken a sauce of bottled clam juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. Poach the shrimp in the sauce -- they take only three to five minutes -- then spoon them with the sauce onto the cheesy grits. Garnish heartily with scallions.

GRITS

4cups water or chicken stock
1tablespoon hot sauce
1cup quick-cooking 5-minute grits
Salt and pepper, to taste
½cup shredded cheddar cheese
2tablespoons butter
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a heavy-based flameproof casserole, combine the water or stock and hot sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.

2. Whisk in the grits, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is thick.

3. Stir in the cheddar, butter, and scallions. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Cover and keep in a warm place.

SHRIMP

2tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1small onion, finely chopped
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
2tablespoons flour
1bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the red pepper and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes more.

2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and lemon rind and juice. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, for 3 minutes, or until thickened.

3. Add the shrimp, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the scallions.

4. Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls. Spoon the shrimp and sauce on top. Garnish with the remaining scallions.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

Perhaps best for brunch on a weekend, Southern shrimp and grits is a warm-you-from-the-inside kind of dish. Five-minute grits are readily available and make the meal prep a breeze. Grits is a cornmeal porridge similar to Italian polenta. Simmer the grits with stock or water and stir in cheddar cheese and butter to finish it. Keep them warm while you cook the shrimp. You can also use regular grits, which will take longer, up to an hour of steady stirring for stoneground grits; follow the package instructions. But don't start the shrimp and its sauce till the grits are done because the shrimp take so little time to cook. First make a classic roux with butter and flour to thicken a sauce of bottled clam juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. Poach the shrimp in the sauce -- they take only three to five minutes -- then spoon them with the sauce onto the cheesy grits. Garnish heartily with scallions.

GRITS

4cups water or chicken stock
1tablespoon hot sauce
1cup quick-cooking 5-minute grits
Salt and pepper, to taste
½cup shredded cheddar cheese
2tablespoons butter
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a heavy-based flameproof casserole, combine the water or stock and hot sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.

2. Whisk in the grits, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is thick.

3. Stir in the cheddar, butter, and scallions. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Cover and keep in a warm place.

SHRIMP

2tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1small onion, finely chopped
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
2tablespoons flour
1bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the red pepper and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes more.

2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and lemon rind and juice. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, for 3 minutes, or until thickened.

3. Add the shrimp, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the scallions.

4. Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls. Spoon the shrimp and sauce on top. Garnish with the remaining scallions.Karoline Boehm Goodnick