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Loaded Shrimp and Grits!!

Every year my aunt's family carries on their family tradition of making stone-ground grits for sale at the Florida state fair. I recently moved down to Florida so she gave me some to take home with me and I had to make something amazing to honor these great local flavors. Of course, these grits beat the heck out of what you find in most grocery stores but you definitely can use any type of (non quick cooking) grits you have available; just adjust the water.

9 Cups of water

2 Cups stone-ground grits

2 tsp chicken or vegetable base

2 lbs shrimp (larger is better)

1 Tbsp cajun seasoning for shrimp + 1 Tbsp for grits

8 oz thick cut bacon

3 large shallots, diced

3 green onions, chopped (separate whites from greens)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb asparagus, chopped

6 oz sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Cups cheddar cheese, grated

1/3 Cup heavy cream

3 Tbsp butter

In a large, heavy, pot bring water, cajun seasoning, and base to a boil. Add grits and cream, turn down temperature to very light simmer, and cook approximately 50 min, stirring frequently. It is so easy to scorch the grits which is why you need a super heavy bottom pan like this one here

In a separate pan, fry bacon until crispy and remove from pan. Saute shallots and green onion bottoms in the bacon grease until translucent. Add asparagus and cook until soft. Add in tomatoes (both fresh and sun dried) along with some of the packing liquid from the sun dried tomatoes (if desired). Combine vegetables, cheese, butter, and grits in the large pot on the lowest heat setting possible.

Shrimp should be lightly coated in oil and dusted with cajun seasoning and then be seared until cooked through.

Serve grits in a bowl, top with shrimp and green onion tops. In the final picture you'll see a dollop of flavored sour cream (recipe below) as well which is a great optional addition. See notes below for more ideas and additions. Enjoy!!

Spiced Lemon Sour cream (whisk ingredients together in bowl)

1 Cup sour cream

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne

Notes and Ideas:

  1. If you like a little extra spice add in another 1 tsp of cayenne into the grits while cooking

  2. For cheese grating, a simple box grater will work, I love OXO brand or Kitchenaid products when I have a choice

  3. For zesting, I currently have a cheap zester that cuts long strips. I've been meaning to get a microplane, like this one, for a while for much better results

  4. I use a cayenne oil to cook my shrimp typically. Saratoga Olive Oil is my go to for all things oil (and vinegar but we'll get to that when I post some salad dressing recipes)

  5. Next time I make this I may add some andouille sausage, simply cooked/browned in a pan and added in at the end with the cheese.

As always, even though links contained in this post may be sponsored and paid, I wouldn't recommend anything I didn't believe in. Typically items I either own or actually want myself.

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