Shrimp and Grits have become a well known dish all over the country. What started off as a breakfast food in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia has become an iconic dinner offering all over the country at fine restaurants as well as down home joints.
The dish originated in the fishing and shipping communities and was served simply with white grits and shrimp cooked quickly in a few ingredients. Onion, tomatoes and green peppers were stired together in a pan with a little oil cooked till soft and then some catsup and water was added. The shrimp went into the pan and then they were served over bowls of creamy white grits which had a little butter in them. Sometimes a little bacon fat was used and crumbled bacon added to the mix. This is pretty much the recipe that appears in the Charleston Receipts cookbook. Which is the oldest collection of recipes put together in print of Low Country recipes of all sorts.
Today chefs all over are reinventing and adapting this dish for modern pallets and trying to add their own unique twist. There are versions with all sorts of things in them. I have adapted my recipe slightly taking a cue from one of my favorite pasta dishes, Shrimp Dijon and Linguini. I kept the peppers in but took out all the cream. Yes can you believe it. There is butter but no cream to speak of. The one thing I kept was the peppers but changed them to red pepper for color and taste. So I hope if you would like a modern update on shrimp and grits you try this at home. Cause when I did it came out rather lovely. Enjoy ya'll!!
Spicy Dijon Shrimp and Grits with Bacon Cheese Grits
makes 4 portions with extra grits
1 lbs large shrimp peeled and deveined tail on
1/2 tablespoon garlic flavored oil
2-3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons Siracha Hot sauce
4 scallions chopped
4 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
1/2 of a red pepper chopped into fine dice
1 1/2 cup stone ground grits
5 cups chicken stock
3 ounces soft goat cheese or Marscapone if you are not a fan of Goat Cheese
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 cup half and half
For the Shrimp:
In a metal or glass bowl place the shrimp in with the dijon and combine till well coated. Place in fridge covered for at least 2 hours
When ready to cook place small about of garlic oil in pan and cook pepper till just done then add the shrimp add the butter and Siracha and when shrimp is cooked spoon over the grits garnish with the bacon and the scallions and serve immediately.
For the Bacon Cheese Grits:
Bring the water and half and half to a boil add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Stir in grits with a whisk making making sure there is no clumping.
Cook for an hour to an hour and a half stirring occasionally to make sure grits are not clumping.
Before serving stir in cheese and bacon grease
Taste and adjust seasoning
Can be held for up to 2 hours if too thick add water and stir again till creamy.
Place grits in the bottom of a wide bowl and divide shrimp among the four plates. Spoon butter and hot sauce mixture over the shrimp. Garnish with the bacon and the scallions.