[Updated] A signature Southern dish, shrimp and grits is an easy-to-make yummy in your tummy kind of meal. Today considered a go-to dish, you'll find this classic on any menu in South Carolina, Mississippi or Louisiana.
But if you are not from the South, grits may be a bit foreign to you. To quote Joe Pesci's character Vinny in "My Cousin Vinny," - "What the heck is a grit?" Grits, mainly a traditional breakfast side dish, are not just for breakfast anymore. Mixed with cheese, bacon or ham, they are popping up on dinner plates around the country.
Today, they come in the instant variety and that is what we used. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish and will become a household favorite. Our recipe uses Parmesan cheese, ham, freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic and parsley.
Adding flavor to the grits by way of sweet ham, Tasso (Cajun flavored smoked ham), bacon, Prosciutto or Pancetta are all easy options depending on what is available at your local grocery. We had leftover HoneyBaked Ham available for our recipe and it was YUM delicious. The freshly squeezed lemon juice made a world of difference.
This dish can be made easily for a dinner party or plated for single serve appetizers.
Southern-Inspired Shrimp & Grits
Serves 2. Total time 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup instant grits (5 minute variety)
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of white wine (use water if unavailable)
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped Honey Baked ham or Tasso ham
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the grits, season with cracked black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ham and Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cover to keep warm and remove from heat.
Next, season the shrimp with kosher salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add 2 tablespoons wine, the fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley. Stir until mixed and serve immediately over the grits. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges.