Our Cajun culinary experimentation begins with a local favorite, Shrimp and Grits. We’re easing our way into Cajun cooking here…can’t just jump into Shrimp Remoulade or Gumbo just yet! Let’s get our taste buds warmed up with this simple, delicious dish-with-a-kick.
There is a serious abundance of fresh seafood ‘round these parts. Ordinarily, in Tejas, I speed up my shopping cart in the seafood section to avoid nasty fishy shmells. Here the fish actually smell good. It’s incredible! Fridays during Lent (without meat) can hardly be called a sacrifice this year!
Cajun Shrimp and Grits Ingredients
1-½ packets of instant grits per person
1 tablespoon of butter or a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan, asiago and/or romano cheese
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
cayenne pepper – ohhhhhhh boy!!
juice of a lemon
fresh or dried parsley
1. Boil water for grits (1/2 cup of water per packet of grits)
2. When water is boiling, whisk in grits, boil for about a minute and take off heat
3. Add handful or ¼ cup of cheesy mixture (parmesan, asiago, romano or cheese of your choice) to grits
4. Sprinkle grits with salt and pepper and add a spoonful of butter for good measure!
5. Cover grits to keep warm until ready to plate
6. Meanwhile, season the deveined shrimp with salt and pepper
7. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter or drizzle olive oil
8. Add the shrimp, garlic and a little cayenne (start with a very small amount) to pan and sauté shrimp until they’re pink and are no longer transparent (about 3 minutes)
9. Remove shrimp from heat and add the juice from a lemon to the pan…and maybe a little more butter if you need it…stir to coat shrimp with sauce, season with salt and pepper
10. Plate grits in center of shallow bowl, top with shrimp and give a generous shower of the lemon/butter/cayenne sauce from the pan over the top.
11. Add a dash more of cayenne pepper for color and flava (if you can take tha HEAT)! Then sprinkle with fresh or dried parsley – so pretty!
This dish has incredible spice from the cayenne, tang from the lemon juice and rich cheesiness from the grits. And took me about 15 minutes from walking in the kitchen to serving this…
Zach-o-meter: As a first attempt, this was a WINNER, WINNER CAJUN DINNER!! The flavors were as kickin’ as Mardi Gras and it was easier than the chicks on Bourbon Street!!
**Pardon the vulgarity. We went to Mardi Gras on Saturday and boy was that an experience…WHO DAT!?!