When in the South, Eat Like a Southerner: Shrimp & Grits

by Heather

Clearly I love oatmeal. And most other grains.

But I’ve never understood the appeal of grits.

stone ground grits

Not likely grits wasn’t a big deal until I moved South. Add not liking sweet tea and I was labeled strange.

Did you know people ate grits for meals besides breakfast? I didn’t until I went to a friend’s wedding and she insisted that I try the shrimp and grits- it was the reason she chose the reception location.

So I tried them and I was forced to admit they didn’t kill me. Ok, it was actually pretty good.

For last year’s 24 x 24, I tried to recreate the shrimp and grits, and discovered it wasn’t a fluke- grits could actually be good.

Now, they’re still not on my list of favorites, but because I do live in the South, I’ve decided to embrace them. Plus, I have a southern husband to keep happy.

So shrimp and grits it is!

Southern Shrimp and Grits

1 cup stone ground grits

2 cups water

2 cups + 1/4c vegetable broth

1 yellow onion, chopped

Optional: 1/2c shredded sharp cheddar cheese or vegan cheddar cheese

Shrimp

1 T flour

1T lemon juice

Splash hot pepper sauce {adjust for spiciness preference}

Salt & pepper

Bring water and 2 cups of broth to a boil. Stir in grits and simmer ~25 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. {If using quick cooking grits, follow package directions.} While grits are simmering, sauté onions. Remove grits from heat; stir in onions and cheese if using.

savory grits

Sauté shrimp over medium heat with remaining 1/4c veggie broth. Stir in flour, lemon juice, & hot sauce. Cook until shrimp turn pink.

cooking shrimp

Serve grits with shrimp on top. Season with salt & pepper.

It’s perfect as a one-bowl dish or with veggies on the side. My favorite? Roasted asparagus.

asparagus bundlebunch of asparagus

Chop ends off asparagus and spread on baking sheet. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Bake 10-12 minutes, until tips start to brown.

roasted asparagus

And yes, asparagus always sparks the ‘does your pee smell’ debate. We’re too classy to discuss that here….

shrimp and grits

What foods are popular or unique to where you live?