Mardi Gras Shrimp and Grits

Serves 4    

Shrimp and grits is a classic Louisiana dish and popular for Mardi Gras. There are many variations on the recipe. Die-hard cooks start with making their own shrimp stock, but if time is a concern, start with a good commercially prepared stock.

8 slices bacon
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons butter, divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups shrimp or fish broth, or clam juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
1 cup white corn grits
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheddar cheese, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Or place on a paper towel–lined microwavable dish, and cook on high power about 4 minutes or until crispy. Cool and chop coarsely. Set aside.
  2. Season the shrimp with oregano and cayenne pepper. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium-size sauté pan,and cook the onions and garlic until the mixture softens. Add the shrimp, and cook until it is pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Cover and keep warm.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a boil, and season generously with salt. Reduce the heat so the mixture is at a simmer and whisk in the grits. Simmer, stirring often, until the grits have absorbed the liquid and are very tender, 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter and ½ cup of the cheese, and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Serve the shrimp over the grits; top with the reserved bacon, the onions and the remaining cheese saved for garnishing.
Categories: Main Dishes