Skillet Shrimp and Grits

If you’ve been around these parts long enough you’ll know that I’m truly in love with breakfast.  And truth be told, I love it even more when I’m eating for other meals.  Like those gratin potatoes with spinach, kale, and a runny poached egg? 

That was my lunch one day over holiday break. It was spectacular! Well this shrimp and grits dish rates right up there.

Lord knows I’m not from the South but my great pal Josie sure is and she knows her grits. Creamy, cheesy, stick-to-your-ribs sort of good grits. Add some shrimp to a killer pan of grits and you’ve got a perfect pair.

And speaking of Josie, she’s having herself a perfect pair this week…in the form of twin boys! Josie and Joey are adding 2 more to their family and I knew this shrimp and grits dish would be an amazing way to help celebrate a little surprise shower a few of us decided to have for her.

Skillet Shrimp and Grits

Josie loves breakfast just as much as I do and she’s all over shrimp and grits. Being the Yankee that I am, I think this meal really does Southern comfort food justice, especially since I used the stone-ground white cornmeal Josie brought me from Atlanta in October. I know she would love it as much as Kyle and I did. 

Because you’ll bake the grits for a final 15 minutes, they aren’t quite as creamy as I would have liked for them to be but it’s a stellar recipe, nonetheless. The only thing that could possibly make this shrimp and grits any more awesome would be a poached egg. 

Surprised?  I know Josie would agree.

Here’s what we made for Josie’s shower:
Annie: paloma cocktail (Tequila & Lime)
Courtney: chocolate cake with coffee buttercream
Elly: sausage-cheese biscuits

Wouldn’t this menu would make for an amazing brunch?!

Skillet Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Skillet Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Skillet shrimp and cheese grits is an easy way to bring the South into your kitchen. Cooked in one pan, this is a traditional shrimp and cheese grits recipe that cooks quickly on the stove top and finishes baking in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup old-fashioned grits (see note below)
  • 6 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 ½ cups)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Melt butter in a 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and chile powder and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Pour in the water and heavy cream and bring the liquid to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits then reduce the heat to low. Cook the grits, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes until they are thick and creamy. Remove the skillet from the heat and quickly stir in ¾ of the cheese, eggs, scallions, and black pepper. Nestle the shrimp under the grits and smooth out the grits over the shrimp once all have been added. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the grits.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot.

Notes

Look for old-fashioned, coarse, or stone ground grits for this recipe as quick and instant grits will cook too quickly and the recipe needs extra time to bake in the oven to finish cooking.

adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes by America's Test Kitchen

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