Shrimp and grits may not seem like a fitting duo to some, but to Southerners, it’s a staple dish that is known for bringing families and friends together. I haven’t had the greatest luck with finding a restaurant that makes it how I like it so I decided to try it at home for myself. My husband is from the South so I knew it would be right up his alley!
My secret ingredient in this shrimp and grits is the Southwestern seasoning. I used the McCormick brand because it has chipotle pepper. I feel like this is what many other shrimp and grits dishes are missing. For me, I like my grits creamy but not runny and I like my shrimp to stand out and not to be swimming in gravy. I guess everyone has their own preference but today, I’m sharing mine with you :)
Shrimp and Grits
3 oz Andouille sausage (1 link), diced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1c sliced white onion
1c sliced green pepper
1 tsp garlic
1 lb peeled, deveined large shrimp
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp Southwestern or Creole spice mix
1 ½ c grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp hot sauce
¼ c green onion, sliced
1c water (plus more if needed)
1c quick-cooking polenta
1 tbsp butter
½ c grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil on medium-high. Add sausage and sauté until sausage starts to brown. Add onion and green pepper to pan and sauté until soft and onions become translucent (about 4-5 mins). Add garlic and sauté for another 2 mins.
While sausage mixture cooks, heat milk and water in a large saucepan until boiling. Slowly whisk in polenta. Add ½ tsp salt and stir. Reduce heat to minimize splatter. Cook slowly, whisking frequently, for 5 mins or until polenta is cooked and the mixture is creamy. Add 1 tbsp butter to polenta and ½ c of Parmesan; whisk until well mixed. Add water if mixture thickens, until desired texture is attained.
Meanwhile, season shrimp with spice mix. Add shrimp to sausage mixture and heat 2-3 mins on each side or until just cooked through. Reduce heat. Stir in tomatoes, hot sauce, remaining salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes are just blistered.
Serve shrimp mixture over grits and sprinkle with green onions for garnish.
Note: This goes great with greens! You can dice up some extra andouille sausage and add to the greens for some added smokiness.
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