Shrimp and Grits in the Old Charleston Style

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Shrimp and Grits in the Old Charleston Style

Send your taste buds to coastal South Carolina with this restaurant-worthy shrimp and grits recipe. Whether you’re a beginner cook or a seasoned pro, this top-rated recipe will impress everyone at your table.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Is Shrimp and Grits?

Shrimp and grits is a Southern dish from the Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. It’s traditionally served at breakfast, but you can often find it on lunch or dinner menus. Nobody is quite sure when the ingredients were first served together, but the first known published recipe appeared in the 1950 edition of Charleston Receipts (the oldest Junior League cookbook still in print).

How to Make Shrimp and Grits

You’ll find the full recipe below, but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:

Cook Grits

Boil grits with half-and-half until thick, creamy, and tender. Remove from heat, set aside, and keep warm.

Marinate Shrimp

A simple marinade of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and salt makes perfectly flavorful shrimp that doesn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients.

Cook Meat and Veggies

Cook sausage in a skillet until brown. Remove the sausage from the skillet and replace with bacon. Cook bacon in the skillet until evenly browned, drain on paper towels, then chop or crumble when the bacon is cool enough to handle. Cook bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the bacon drippings.

When veggies are tender, return the cooked sausage to the skillet along with the marinated shrimp.

Make a Roux

Whisk melted butter and flour over medium heat until you have a smooth, golden roux. Pour the roux over the sausage, shrimp, and vegetables in the skillet.
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Finish Sauce

Add chicken broth, bacon, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Stir until sauce thickens and shrimp is bright pink.

Assemble and Serve

Finish the grits by mixing in Cheddar cheese. Spoon the grits onto plates, then top with the saucy shrimp mixture.

Best Grits for Shrimp and Grits

While instant and quick grits are great when you’re short on time, this recipe requires grits with a coarse grind. Choose stone-ground grits or coarse hominy grits for the best results.

What Goes With Shrimp and Grits?

You don’t necessarily have to serve anything with shrimp and grits. It’s incredibly rich and satisfying by itself. However, if you want to go the extra mile, consider pairing this dish with Lowcountry fare (such as Okra and Tomatoes).

How to Store Leftover Shrimp and Grits

Store shrimp and grits in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The grits will last for up to four days and the shrimp will last for up to two days.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“Amazing recipe,” according to DKTRUM. “I don’t even usually like grits and I ate every bit of this recipe – two helpings. The seasonings were perfect and the depth of flavor was outstanding. Make this recipe as written and don’t change a thing; you won’t regret it.”

“Perfect recipe and my family loved it,” raves Carly. “Prep as much as you can ahead of time to make the process easier. I always bake my bacon instead of pan cooking (keeps the house from smelling) and add a bit of olive oil to the vegetables after cooking the sausage (because there is no bacon grease in the pan to cook it in).”
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“I loved this recipe,” says DILLEAUX. “Took some to my neighbor and she said it was the best dish I’ve ever cooked. I stayed relatively close to the recipe, but used less bell pepper. The prep work is a bit time consuming, but everything comes together very quickly once the shrimp go in.”

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

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