I married a northern boy whose family is from Iowa. They don’t eat grits. It’s sad really. He was so deprived. *laughs* My family on the other hand loves grits. Especially Cajun shrimp and grits. I’m still trying to get that hunk of a man of mine to eat them. He has no idea what he is missing.
Growing up Cajun, shrimp and grits was something we ate plenty of. It is more than a comfort food to me. It is a family food. You can make it whatever you want. If your family doesn’t like heat; don’t add it. If you don’t eat pork; don’t use it. The following recipe is one I’ve made for my boys because it is how we enjoy it. Use this as a basis and make it your own. Just think of the grits as you would rice, pasta, or any other grain. You add some protein and make a sauce for it. You can’t go wrong.
Ingredients for Shrimp Marinade
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tbsp. paprika
- 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel
- 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
Ingredients for Grits
- 3 cups water
- 3 pinches salt
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons grits
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 60 medium shrimp, marinated, peeled and deveined
- 1-1/2 cups diced tasso ham, prosciutto, or pancetta
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onion (scallions), green parts only
Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe
Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add shrimp. Allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes.
Start boiling the water for the grits. Once it starts boiling slowly stir in the grits and salt. Return it to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes stirring often.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add a swirl of oil to the pan and cook the tasso/prosciutto/pancetta and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent. That usually takes about 4-5 minutes. Don’t let them burn. Add the whole bowl of shrimp and marinade to the pan. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, just until shrimp are slightly pink. Deglaze with wine. Reduce by half.
Add the heavy cream. Stir until well combined. Let simmer for a minute or two.
Add a serving of grits to 6 bowls. Evenly divide the shrimp and sauce over the top. Sprinkle some green onions over the tops. Look over at the person sitting next to you and say, “Man, that Iowa boy doesn’t know what he is missing!” Enjoy!