Friday, July 27, 2012

Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

Living in West Virginia has introduced us to a sort of Southern style of living.  In fact, this area is what I like to call “North Southeast”.  We are right about at the beginning of where the Southeast ends and the Northeast begins.  But recipes and cooking in this area are definitely geared towards a more Southern style.  Shrimp and grits is a classic Southern style dish and, like pizza and Buffalo wings in New York, you can ask any Southern cook about their take on the perfect recipe and you’ll be bombarded with hundreds of different ways to enjoy this dish.
Grits are actually made of ground up hominy, which is the dried kernel of corn, and are loaded with fiber.  They are a bit high in carbs, but they contain almost no sugar, and are loaded with iron and vitamin B.
When I was younger if you mentioned the word “grits” to me, I automatically made a face.  I mean, it’s grits.  Even the name doesn’t sound appealing, does it?  Oh, who am I kidding, as an adult, I made that face, too.  It wasn’t until I was out with some girlfriends a few years ago that I was introduced to cheesy grits…with shrimp…and you all know how I love me some shrimp…and cheese.  That dish changed my views about grits.  Now, don’t get all excited, I’m not going to be bombarding this blog with grits recipes.  My grits repertoire is limited…to this one recipe.  So if you have others, please share!
This is a super quick dinner idea (my favorite kind) so get all of your ingredients together and get to it.  Yum!
3 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 cup old fashioned grits (instant grits seem to be frowned upon by real Southern cooks, so do them some justice and use the real stuff)
½ cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp olive oil
6 slices ultra-thin deli ham, chopped
1 ½ lbs large/jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of one lemon
3 tsp low sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp finely minced garlic
1 T chopped fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, boil the chicken broth over medium heat.  Slowly stir in the grits and reduce heat to med/low.  Cover and simmer for approximately 12 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and mix in the cheeses, stirring until melted.  Cover and set aside.

In a large skillet heat olive oil over med/high heat and add ham when hot.  Cook the ham until it is a little bit crispy – about 3 minutes – remove to a paper towel and set aside.

In the same pan, cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes, sprinkling with salt and pepper to taste.  Flip the shrimp about halfway through, and cook until no longer pink.

Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic and stir.  Heat through to a low simmer and remove from heat.  Stir in the ham.

Spoon grits onto plates and top with shrimp mixture and parsley.  Be sure to include sauce, the combination is divine!  Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4
Calories 462 / Carbs 38g / Fat 11g / Protein 52g / Fiber 1g / Sodium 794mg

Let me know what you think!


  1. Sounds awesome! We use bacon instead of ham sometimes for a treat.

  2. LOL I just posted this to my boyfriend stating that we could switch the ham for turkey bacon and then I read the other comment about the bacon. Glad I came across this post. My fiance will be stoked!

  3. You could absolutely use bacon!! And it doesn't add that many more cals! Hope your BF (and you!) enjoy it!

  4. Making this tonight and although I believe it is not a big deal....thought I'd mention that the parsley, salt and pepper are not mentioned in the directions. Looking forward to what sounds like a yummy meal.

  5. I am making this for dinner tonight and although I believe I can figure it out with no problem, for future reference the directions do not mention the parsley, salt or pepper. Looking forward to what sounds like a really yummy meal!

  6. Thanks, Terry! You are right, I did leave out the parsley, my apologies! It should be sprinkled on top before serving. The salt and pepper was in the shrimp section and should be sprinkled onto the shrimp when cooking. I have made the edits and I appreciate your feedback!! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  7. Being a born and bred Southerner, coming from a long line of Southern women...grits are the BOMB :-) Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite dishes, and you're right, there are so many variations! Yours sounds delish!

  8. Thank you so much for your comment, Mo! I hope it measures up to what I can only imagine would be amazing other variations :)

  9. If you can get it, Tasso is a good alternative to the ham.

    1. Tasso is an excellent alternative. It has an intense smokey flavor and adds very little fat. I keep it in my freezer for just such dishes as this.

  10. Thankyou for this recipe. It really is divine! The sauce is awesome too. It is very easy and I have made it a few times. My husband loves it!

    1. Thank you so much for coming back to comment! I'm glad that you are enjoying it - messages like this make my day!

  11. I live in the South and I couldn't find anything but instant grits. xD They'll just have to do...

  12. My husband made this tonight, it was awesome.


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