Rule #131: Southern comfort food starts here.
Shrimp and Grits is, to me, one of the best Southern comfort food meals there is! I’ve been tweaking this little recipe for years now, and I finally got the green light from my Sheik of Shrimp (aka Jon Boy). I couldn’t wait to share it with y’all! This is an easy, delicious recipe that’s good for the soul!
I like to marinate my shrimp before cooking so they soak in the maximum amount of flavor. You can marinate for 6 hours to overnight.
After you’ve marinated the shrimp in the sugar and spice mixture, sauté them in a large Dutch oven or skillet. First, melt 2 tbs. of butter in the Dutch oven, then cook the shrimp until pink (about 2 minutes per side).
Remove the cooked shrimp to a dish and keep warm.
To the same Dutch oven or skillet, add in chopped onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper. Sauté until vegetables are cooked through (about 8 minutes).
Then, add in 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook another 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
Now, add in the tomatoes by crushing them one-by-one with your hands. Be careful! It’s a messy business! You can also sub the same amount of tomatoes already crushed in the can.
Then, add in some salt and pepper and 2 bay leaves.
Next add in some sage and thyme (can be dried or fresh). Stir, cover, and bring everything to a boil. Then, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Once the sauce is cooked, add the shrimp back to the pot. Simmer another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Well, hello there, you biggo pot of comforting deliciousness!
While the shrimp and sauce are cooking, make your cheesy grits! I use quick-cooking grits like these to keep it simple.
Pour 1 cup of the quick-cooking grits into 4 cups of boiling water.
Turn the heat off, and stir to combine. Cover and let sit and thicken for 5 minutes.
Next add in some butter.
Then add some grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.
Finally, throw in some salt and pepper.
There’s nothing quite like some cheesy grits, y’all.
We serve ours with cheesy grits on the bottom, some shrimp and sauce on top, then garnish it with some chopped green onion.
And you’ve got to have some Tabasco on the side, naturally.
Put the south in your mouth!
Shrimp and Grits
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbs. paprika
2 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. Ancho chile powder
1 tsp. light brown sugar
2 lb. shrimp, cleaned, peeled, deveined, tails off
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (32-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tbs. fresh)
1 tsp. dried sage (or 1 tbs. fresh)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quick-cooking (5 minute) grits
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. unsalted butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Marinate the Shrimp
Combine all spices (cayenne through brown sugar) in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Add in the shrimp, tossing to combine. Cover, refrigerate, and marinate for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
Make the Sauce
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, melt 2 tbs. butter over medium-high heat. Add in the marinated shrimp. Sauté until shrimp are pink on all sides, stirring occasionally (about 2 minutes per side). Remove the shrimp from the Dutch oven, cover, and set aside. In the same pot, add in the red and green bell pepper and the onion. Sauté until veggies are softened (about 8 minutes). Add in the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then, crush the tomatoes by hand into the pot and pour in remaining juices. Add in the bay leaves, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Then, add the shrimp back to the sauce and simmer another 3 minutes.
Make the Grits
While the tomato sauce simmers, make the Parmesan Grits. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then turn the heat off. Slowly pour in 1 cup of quick-cooking grits, stirring to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes so grits absorb the liquid, then add in the Kosher salt, black pepper, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
Place a generous scoop of grits in a bowl, top with shrimp and tomato sauce, and garnish with chopped green onions or flat-leaf parsley.