My first encounter with this lovely dish was in a town called Columbia, South Carolina. It was love at first bite. Whenever I see this on a menu I have to try it!
Maybe it was because it was my very first foray into grit-eating, but if my memory doesn’t betray me, nothing has every quite matched the exquisiteness of the experience eating this meal at the Blue Marlin in Columbia, South Carolina.
The runner up was in New Orleans at a place called Muriel’s – and these were fantastic as well.
Each place usually puts their own spin on them and it’s interesting just how varied the ingredients to make this dish can be.
Anything from leeks, onions, tomatoes, red peppers, tasso gravy, can be added to increase flavor in addition to as much cream, butter, bacon grease, or broth, is desired.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings or a different type of cheese (I’ve seen hard cheeses as an option, like Parmesan or Fontina, instead of cheddar).
If you make a version and loved it – please share in the comments below.
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth
- 3/4 cup grits (I use corn meal polenta)
- 3/4 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 piece of bacon
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (I prefer Chef Paul Prudhomme's - link is below)
- 1/2 pound shelled and de-veined large shrimp
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a medium pot, bring 3 1/2 cups of the stock to a boil. Whisk in the grits and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and the grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper to taste and whisk just until the cheese is melted. Cover and remove from the heat.
- In a large skillet, add bacon and cook over med heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden, about 8 minutes. Pick up the bacon (leaving the grease) and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Add the garlic to the bacon grease and stir for about 1 minute.
- Season the shrimp with the Cajun spices then add them to the pan. Cook until curled and pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
- Season the shrimps with salt and pepper to taste.
- If the grits have become dry at this point, put them back on the burner and add a little more chicken broth/stock to get them to a creamy consistency.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces and add to the grits, saving some for a top garnish.
- Spoon the warm, cheesy grits into shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and remaining bacon. Serve right away.
Note: Peeling and de-veining the shrimp will take you the longest amount of time and should be done first. Cooking the shrimps takes a very short amount of time once you have it ready to go.
The original recipe had more butter, more cheese, and more shrimp and bacon - and less stock.
I also seasoned the shrimps as I felt they were a bit bland in the original recipe.
When I made it as instructed, I felt it had WAY too much bacon and had so much shrimp that I barely tasted the grits. If you prefer more shrimps and bacon, follow the original recipe instead.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 280Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 45mgSodium 2364mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 15g
This nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although alteredrecipe.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.