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.
Cajun Shrimp and GritsCuisine: Cajun, EntreeDifficulty: Easy
Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp and grits
- 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 of water
3 pinches of salt
1 cup and 2 tablespoons of grits
- Additional Ingredients
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 finely diced onion
60 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and marinated
1-1/2 cups of diced tasso ham, prosciutto, or pancetta
3/4 cup of white wine
1-1/2 cups of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of chopped green onions (scallions), green parts only
- 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 to each bowl. Sprinkle some green onions over the tops. Look over at the person sitting next to you and say, “Man, them Cajuns know how to cook!” Enjoy!
- You can swap out the shrimp for other proteins. Try crawfish, chicken, or scallops!