Y’all craving some comfort food?
Here in the Northeast, we think of comfort food as chicken and dumplings, a steaming bowl of chowder, or anything in a crockpot! Down South, the comfort food icons are things like jambalaya, biscuits and gravy, or shrimp and grits.
My take on Shrimp and Grits is a little non-traditional, but definitely comfort food with smoky gouda cheese in the ‘oh-so-easy’ oven baked grits topped with slightly spicy Cajun shrimp. This Southern belle will soon be part of your go-to winter comfort meals regardless of your coordinates.
Shrimp and grits
3 cups water
3/4 cup white or yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dish off the Block Ragin’ Cajun
6 slices raw bacon
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup seafood or chicken stock
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the grits, pour the 3 cups of water into an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish (a pie plate works too!). Whisk the cornmeal and salt into the water and bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
While the grits bake, melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the onions, thyme, and rosemary until fragrant and the onions are soft. Remove from heat.
Remove grits from the oven and stir in the onion and herb mixture and cheeses until smooth and cheeses are completely melted. Stir in heavy cream until well-combined and velvety.
While the grits are cooking, combine the shrimp with lemon juice and Cajun spice in a small bowl and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes to marinate.
Cook the bacon in a large non-stick skillet until crispy. Remove to a platelined with paper towels to drain and chop when cool. Do not discard drippings in the pan.
Add the red pepper to the bacon drippings and cook over medium high heat until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the shrimp to the pan and spread in one layer to sear. Sear 1 minute per side until just pink. Add the bacon back into the pan and the seafood stock, stirring constantly, for 1 minute and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan until a light sauce forms.
Serve the shrimp mixture over the grits, drizzled with some of the sauce, and garnished with chopped parsley.
For hundreds more of Pam’s yummy recipes, check out her blog www.dishofftheblock.com.