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Shrimp and Grits

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Elevate Your Mealtime with Savory Shrimp and Grits

Looking to add a touch of Southern comfort to your dinner table? Look no further than this delectable Shrimp and Grits recipe. With creamy, cheesy grits as the base and flavorful Cajun-spiced shrimp on top, this dish is a delightful combination of textures and flavors. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or simply looking for a hearty and satisfying meal, Shrimp and Grits is sure to hit the spot. Let’s dive into the details and learn how to whip up this Southern classic!

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Ingredients:

Cheesy Grits:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Shrimp:

  • 6 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Cheesy Grits:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the quick-cooking grits and salt.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until the grits are thick and creamy.
  • Stir in the butter, heavy cream, and shredded cheddar cheese until melted and well combined. Keep warm while preparing the shrimp.

2. Cook the Bacon:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside.

3. Prepare the Shrimp:

  • In a small bowl, toss the peeled and deveined shrimp with Cajun seasoning and ground cayenne pepper until evenly coated.
  • In the same skillet used to cook the bacon, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet in a single layer.
  • Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are pink and opaque. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a plate and set aside.

4. Sauté the Aromatics:

  • In the same skillet, add the chopped red bell pepper, green onions, and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and fragrant.

5. Deglaze the Pan:

  • Pour the low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth into the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice, allowing the flavors to meld together for another minute.

6. Combine and Serve:

  • Return the cooked shrimp and crumbled bacon to the skillet, tossing everything together until heated through and well coated in the flavorful sauce.
  • Serve the Cajun-spiced shrimp and vegetable mixture over a generous helping of creamy cheesy grits.
  • Garnish with additional chopped green onions or parsley, if desired, and enjoy your Southern-inspired feast!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Grits Texture: For a creamier texture, you can substitute half-and-half or whole milk for the heavy cream in the grits.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper to suit your personal preference for spiciness.
  • Protein Options: Feel free to customize the dish by using your favorite protein, such as chicken or Andouille sausage, instead of shrimp.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto-Friendly Option:

  • Replace the quick-cooking grits with cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower for a low-carb alternative.
  • Use full-fat cheese and cream to keep the dish keto-friendly, and adjust the quantities according to your macros.

Low-Carb Twist:

  • Reduce the amount of onion and bell pepper in the shrimp mixture to lower the carb content of the dish.
  • Serve the Cajun-spiced shrimp and vegetable mixture over a bed of sautéed spinach or zucchini noodles for a lighter, low-carb option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use stone-ground grits instead of quick-cooking grits? A: Absolutely! Stone-ground grits will require a longer cooking time and more liquid, so be sure to follow the package instructions for the best results.

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Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: While the grits can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving, it’s best to cook the shrimp and vegetable mixture just before serving to ensure that it stays fresh and flavorful.

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Q: Can I use frozen shrimp instead of fresh shrimp? A: Yes, you can use frozen shrimp in this recipe. Just be sure to thaw them completely before cooking and pat them dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

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Q: Can I omit the bacon for a vegetarian version of this dish? A: Absolutely! You can omit the bacon or replace it with vegetarian bacon bits for a meat-free version of Shrimp and Grits.

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Treat yourself to a taste of the South with this irresistible Shrimp and Grits recipe. From the creamy, cheesy grits to the Cajun-spiced shrimp and savory bacon, every bite is a symphony of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more. Whether you’re serving it up for brunch, lunch, or dinner, this Southern classic is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe repertoire. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to savor the soul-warming goodness of Shrimp and Grits!

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