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One of my favorite breakfasts but let’s be honest, Shrimp and Grits can be eaten for any meal of the day.
I just finished reading “Where the Crawdad’s Sing,” and all the mentions of southern food, especially grits, had me longing for this dish.
The first part of the story is about a young girl, abandoned to the marshes of North Carolina, surviving off only what she finds in the marsh and occasionally, the supplies she gets from town. One thing she always has is grits.
Grits are tricky to make. Even the instant grits that claim they take 5 minutes to make on the stove, take much longer. I grew up on those Quaker Instant 5 Minute Grits so that’s all I use.
To make grits, I just follow the box. Add about 1/2 a cup of grits to a cup of boiling water or in my case, I use bone broth, and whisk continually. When the water starts dwindling and the grits are getting thick, add more broth. Keep whisking, because grits are supposed to be soft. You shouldn’t taste a bunch of hard, grainy pieces, so you want to continue that process of whisking until thick, and adding broth, until your grits are soft. This can take 15-20 minutes but it’s worth the time for soft grits!
I use wild caught gulf shrimp or wild Argentinian shrimp but you use what’s available to you. I’ve been reverting back to the old way of frying food; using lard. Store bought lard is mixed with hydrogenated oils. Try getting pure pork lard from a farm, if you have access to one.
I actually used coconut oil to fry these in! Use a meat thermometer if you use lard or coconut oil because their smoke point is about 350F. If the oil burns and becomes rancid, it’s going to make the shrimp taste awful.
If you have never had shrimp and grits, try my version. A bowl of this warms ya soul, just how good soul food is supposed to.
Shrimp and Grits
For the Grits
- 3 tbsp Butter, divided
- ¼ Cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
- ¼ Cup Onions, diced
- Kielbasa Sausage, optional
- Handful of chopped okra, optional
- Quaker 5 Minute Grits Not the microwavable packages
- Bone Broth or Stock
For the Shrimp
- ½ lb Shrimp peeled, deveined and detailed
- 2 tbsp Butter, melted and cooled
- ½ tsp Cajun Seasoning I like Slap Ya Mama
- 1 Egg, whisked
- 1 Cup Cornmeal
- Refined Coconut Oil or Lard
For the Grits
- Add 2 tbsp of butter to a cast iron pan. Add your onions and peppers and let them cook for about ten minutes on medium low heat, until the onions and peppers are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
- If adding kielbasa, add a little more butter to the pan, then cook kielbasa on both sides until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat this step, but with the okra if you're adding it.*
For the Shrimp
- Rinse and pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Add the Cajun seasoning and mix.
- Pour the whisked egg over the shrimp. Take each shrimp, shaking off any excess, and lightly dredge the shrimp in the cornmeal. Add the shrimp to your pan and fry until golden brown. Set aside.
- Begin cooking your grits - read the grits section above if this is your first time! When grits are done, add a tablespoon of butter and salt to taste.
- Pile your shrimp, peppers and onions, kielbasa and okra on top of your grits and dig in!
- Okra needs to be spaced out and cooked flat so that the bottoms are seared nicely. This takes away that sliminess.
- I fry food in my cast iron or Dutch ovens - you only need about a half inch of oil to fry the shrimp in!
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