Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

Cheesy white cheddar grits topped with spicy shrimp, roasted potatoes and corn, tossed in a Cajun butter sauce.

I had an interview for a company called Cozymeal and this meal was part of the interview process. If you have not heard of the company, you are missing out! Look them up when you have a chance. They are a cultivator of cuisine culture. Offering private or simi-private cooking classes with certified chefs. 

This last week has been a busier one for me than usual, with visiting family and several events requiring I be behind the camera. My camera has become part of me it seems. I use it daily. 

I have been meaning to try my hand at savory grits. I am not a fan of sweet grits, so this is a very welcome alternative. 

Here’s what you need

1 cup uncooked grits

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup milk

2 cups golden potatoes, cut into small pieces 

1 ear corn, husk removed

1 cup peeled shrimp

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 teaspoon marjoram 

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, diced

1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper

4 tablespoons butter

Pinch or red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup shredded cheese (use what you have, but sharp cheeses work best)

I placed my grits in a pan with 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.  Let it cook for 7 minutes undesturbed on low heat. After that time, remove the lid and stir. Add one more cup of broth and return the lid to the pot. Cook until the grits are soft and mushy. Keeping the pot covered will prevent the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Once cooked, add milk and cheese. 

While your grits cook clean and cut your potatoes. Toss them in oil, season with salt.  Shuck the husk off the corn, brush with butter, season with salt and place both the potatoes and corn on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven until golden brown. Remove from the oven and rotate the corn, turn the potatoes for even cooking. 

Prep your shrimp by seasoning with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon paprika.  Toss your shrimp in a bowl of water to rinse and then fully coat with the shrimp seasoning. 

Moisten a portion of a paper towel with oil and coat your frying pan. You want enough oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Place the shrimp on the pan, giving room between each shrimp to allow moisture to evaporate. Don’t crowd the pan, or you won’t get a nice brown crust on the outside. Flip the shrimp halfway through cooking. There should be a nice brown crust on the outside from the seasoning. Don’t cook too long or the shrimp will shrink. Remove from the pan once cooked and set aside. 

Next add butter and remaining seasonings to the pan. Melt the butter fully and simmer for a few seconds to allow the spices to combine with the butter. If you wish to add minced garlic, now would be a great time to add it. Next, add your cooked shrimp, potatoes and corn to the butter and toss until coated. 

Serve up a portion of grits. Top with a spoon full of the seasoned butter from the pan, a few shrimp, some corn and potatoes. I have found fresh arugula, parsley and green onions add great flavors to the dish if added before eating.