Monday, January 24, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

Have you ever eaten shrimp and grits?  I tried this delectable concoction for the first time when we were in Charleston during our recent vacation.  I knew my dad loved grits, so I bought him a bag of white grits while we were traveling. 

Grits is a food of Native American origin that is common in the Southern United States, mainly used in breakfast. It consists of coarsely ground corn
Grits is similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta. It also resembles farina, a thinner porridge. (courtesy of wikipedia)

My mom recently invited us for dinner and we decided to make shrimp and grits.  I found a tempting recipe on epicurious - a little different than the usual version, this includes prosciutto and tomatoes.  We loved it.  The tomatoes really "cut" the richness of the cream-laden grits. 

Cream Shrimp Grits with Proscitto (courtesy of 

  • 4 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup corn grits* (such as Arrowhead Mills)

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
For grits:
Bring chicken stock, whipping cream, butter and garlic to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in corn grits. Return to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until grits thicken, whisking often, about 15 minutes.
For shrimp:
Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add shrimp and sauté 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to large bowl. Add white wine to skillet and boil until reduced to glaze, about 5 minutes. Add drained diced tomatoes and half of prosciutto and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add parsley, chives and sautéed shrimp and simmer until shrimp are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Thin sauce with some of reserved tomato juices, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon corn grits into shallow bowls. Top each serving with shrimp-prosciutto-tomato mixture, dividing equally. Garnish with remaining prosciutto strips and serve immediately.
*Corn grits, also known as polenta, are available at Italian markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute 1 cup regular yellow cornmeal and cook about 8 minutes. 

 Kirsten's note: We also added 1 cup of shredded parmesan to the grits and sprinkled additional parmesan on top. 


  1. I noticed the cutting board in your mom's kitchen. Is that the one you made in middle school shop class? :)

  2. I always thought grits were like little biscuits, that you ate with lots of butter - kind of like corn muffins but not as high . Boy was I wrong.

    I wanna know how much you paid for the shrimp (2 pounds of shrimp/prawns here would set you back about $25.00)

    The shrimp mix looks yummy!

  3. Shay -
    my mom bought the ingredients - shrimp range in price depending on size - if I had to guess, I'd say she probably spent a little less than $9/lb on those. Not cheap, but not totally cost-prohibitive.
    it was so yummy!! but, biscuits with lots of butter sounds great, too! :)

  4. I've never had grits either, and hadn't wanted to as the name just makes them sound kind of grainy and well, "gritty", lol!
    I thought it would be like a very coarse polenta, and I'm not overly fond of polenta.
    I will have to put them on my list of things to try when and if Shay and I ever go on our Thelma and Louise stye road trip!