All I have to say about this recipe is WOW!! I saw a similar recipe to this one on Paula Deen this past fall and I have been dieing to come up with the perfect shrimp & grits recipe since. All of the ones on the web were too boring, lacked flavor, and didn’t include any fresh vegetables. I played around with a few different recipes and came up with my own concoction of yumminess. If you want a dish that will wow your guests, this one is it! I served this at a family event and my Dad and brother in law were literally fighting over the last bits in the bottom of the dish. I had to hurry and hide some in a dish for leftovers for my lunch the next day before people could see–too good to not eat twice. Once it was served the bowls were licked clean. Fresh, perfect for spring, and completely addicting!!

Cajun Shrimp with Cheesy Grits
2 lbs. peeled, raw shrimp
Zest and juice of one lemon (if your shrimp are extra large, use 2 lemons)
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 T. Cajun seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. melted butter or olive oil
1 T. dried or fresh parsley
1 1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/2 lb. bacon
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced small
Remove the tails from the raw shrimp. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Let the shrimp marinate for several hours or overnight. When ready to prepare the dish, in a large saute pan, cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Pour out all of the bacon fat except for 1-2 teaspoons. Add the red onion to the pan and cook until the onions are soft. Add the green peppers and let them saute for 30 seconds. Keep the onions and peppers in the pan and add the shrimp and marinade. Saute the shrimp on medium-high heat until they begin to turn pink. Once the shrimp are cooked and pink, remove the shrimp leaving as much of the bits and sauce in the pan. Add 1 c. of chicken broth to the pan and let the sauce simmer until the moisture begins to evaporate. Once the sauce is thick and the pan is deglazed, add:
3/4-1 c. of heavy cream (or half & half)
Turn the heat to a low heat and let the sauce continue to thicken on the stove. Add the cooked shrimp back into the pan. Add the following:
1 c. diced tomatoes
1/4 c. green onions, sliced
Let the tomatoes and green onions stay warm on the stove with the shrimp until ready to serve.


(The Cajun shrimp topping would also be amazing on pasta, or even just grilled on skewers for a spring bbq. Amazing!)


Cheesy Grits
5 c. water
1/2 c. powdered milk
2 c. cornmeal or grits
1 can diced green chilies
1 c. shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
3/4-1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
Add the water, powdered milk and cornmeal (or grits) in a large sauce pan and whisk until smooth. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring the mixture to a low rolling boil and simmer the grits/cornmeal on low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until the grits begin to thicken. Once the grits are pretty thick, add the shredded cheese and green chilies. Add the 4 oz. cream cheese to the mixture and let it melt until the mixture is soft and smooth. (If the grits are too thick, thin out with a little milk. If they are too thin, let the mixture continue to thicken on low heat).