Easy Shrimp Cheese Grits – Shrimp and cheese grits may become a Christmas Eve dinner tradition. With a large green salad as a side dish, this light dinner hit the spot.
Contrary to my first “copy cat” version of a shrimp and grits main dish, this time around I decided to add mushrooms to the shrimp and cheese grits recipe. Instead of the tomatoes, I decided on red bell pepper.
Shrimp and cheese grits may become a Christmas Eve dinner tradition. With a large green salad as a side dish, this light dinner hit the spot.
Contrary to my first “copy cat” version of a shrimp and grits main dish, this time around I decided to add mushrooms to the shrimp and cheese grits recipe.
Instead of the tomatoes, I decided on red bell pepper.
I prepared the various vegetable separately to allow all the rendered liquids to evaporate, especially from the fried mushrooms. Once cooked, all ingredients were combined at the last minute so each could retain its distinctive flavor.
The sauce was thickened just enough to coat the shrimp rather than create a pool of liquid around the grits.
The recipe was rated a flat out winner by all dinner guests.
Recipe For Easy Shrimp Cheese Grits
- 2 cups of Red Bell® Corn Grits (Polenta)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of Old Bay® seasoning
- ¼ cup of butter for frying and 3 tablespoons for the grits
- ¼ cup of flour
- 2 cups of extra sharp shredded cheddar
- 2 - 4 oz packs of diced pancetta
- 1 pound of center cut Oscar Mayer® Bacon
- 3 lbs of large, raw, peeled and de-veined shrimp (found at Giant® Foods)
- 3 bunches of scallions, chopped fine
- ½ cup or more of parsley, chopped fine
- 4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into small dice
- 12 oz of fresh mushroom medley, chopped into even pieces
- 6 cups of chicken broth plus about ¾ cup for the sauce
- 1 cup white cooking wine
- Chop all the vegetables ahead of time.
Fry the entire pound of bacon until crisp. Set aside on a paper towel to cool. When cool, crumble into small pieces and set aside.
Along with the chopped scallions, the bacon is the topping for your shrimp mixture when you are ready to plate.
- You want all other ingredients ready to cook (and the shrimp at room temperature) as there are many steps to preparing the shrimp mixture.
- Start by browning the pancetta over low heat. You just want it to cook slowly and take on some color - not brown to a crisp.
- Remove from pan and place in a medium bowl.
- To the same pan, add the mushrooms and brown lightly until all moisture has evaporated. Remove from pan and add to the bowl along with the pancetta. Sprinkle the pancetta and mushrooms with the ¼ cup of flour. Toss to combine and coat well.
- To the frying pan, add the diced red bell pepper and allow to fry until translucent. Add chopped parsley and garlic. Fry this combination until the pepper is quite soft.
- Add the red pepper mixture to the bowl along with the pancetta and mushroom mixture. De-glaze the pan with the white wine. Pour liquid over the vegetables. Set aside.
- Prepare the grits as directed on the package using the chicken broth and the ½ teaspoon of salt. Just before plating, sprinkle 2 cups of cheese to the grits and mix lightly into the grits. The grits should be done at about the same time as you complete the shrimp mixture so you can assemble the dish without having to re-heat the grits or the shrimp.
- Time to prepare the shrimp:
- In a large and clean frying pan, heat the butter.
When hot, add enough shrimp to cover the bottom of the pan. Season the shrimp with Old Bay® and fry until pink. Do not over cook.
Remove from the pan into a large clean bowl. Prepare the remaining shrimp in the same way. Add to the bowl.
In this same pan, re-heat the vegetable mixture and add a sufficient amount of leftover chicken broth to form a light sauce.
Pour the pancetta, mushrooms, red pepper, parsley, garlic and white wine sauce over the cooked shrimp. Fold gently into the shrimp to coat them evenly.
- Plate: Place a generous amount of cheese grits on each dinner plate. Top with a good amount of shrimp mixture.
Allow each dinner guest to top off their shrimp and cheese grits with the finely chopped scallions and crisp bacon bits.
- Serve with a large green salad (Spring Mix).
Serve immediately and enjoy while hot.