This dish perfectly combines the sweetness of fresh shrimp with the creamy richness of stone-ground grits, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or simply seeking a comforting and hearty meal, this recipe will guide you through crafting a dish that showcases the culinary heritage of North Carolina. Get ready to dive into a bowl of savory goodness and savor the soul-warming delights that will leave you craving more. Let’s embark on a flavor-filled journey through the heart of North Carolina.
- 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- In a large saucepan, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil. Gradually whisk in the stone-ground grits, reduce the heat to low, and let them simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the grits are thick and creamy.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and well combined. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Set the grits aside and keep them warm.
- In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
- In the same skillet with the bacon drippings, add the chopped onion and green bell pepper. Sauté until they become tender and slightly golden.
- Add the minced garlic to the skillet and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and add the butter to melt on the empty side. Once melted, sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk until it forms a paste.
- Gradually pour in 1 cup of broth (from the cooked grits) and whisk well to incorporate the flour mixture, creating a smooth sauce. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the skillet, along with the lemon juice. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
- Season the shrimp and sauce with salt and black pepper to taste.
- To serve, spoon a generous portion of the creamy grits into a bowl or plate. Top with the shrimp and sauce, and sprinkle the crispy bacon over the dish. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley for an extra touch of freshness.
- Dive into the flavors of North Carolina with each delightful bite of Shrimp and Grits. Enjoy the comforting combination of creamy grits, succulent shrimp, and a flavorful sauce that captures the essence of this beloved Southern classic.