Creamy Grits with Cajun Shrimp

Cajun Shrimp 4

 

Before I go any further I just want to say that this recipe is freaking awesome!  Even my family that won’t eat grits loved them the way they were prepared for this recipe.  There is so much delicious flavor and creaminess to this recipe, they won’t even notice it’s grits!  Also, I know this looks like a lot of work but it really isn’t.  I made this entire meal in just 40 minutes.  It is well worth the little bit of time it took for a delicious home cooked meal.

Shall we begin?

Cajun Sauce

32 oz. beef stock (or half beef, half chicken stock)

2 bay leaves (4 if you are using fresh)

1/2 t white pepper

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t black pepper

1 t dried thyme

1/2 t dried oregano

1 t dried basil

1/2 t onion powder

1 1/2 t paprika

3 finely minced garlic cloves

salt to taste

Place all the ingredients in a medium size sauce pan and bring to a quick boil then reduce to a simmer while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Creamy Grits

4 c. broth (I use 2 c. chicken stock, and 2 c. beef stock from the Cajun Sauce (strained) – just replace the 2 c. you remove with chicken stock – if you are using cartons from the grocery store.

1 c. grits

1 finely minced clove of garlic

1/2 t salt.

Bring the stock/broth to a boil and sprinkle the grits into the boiling stock.  Whisk continually until it starts to thicken (about 5 minutes) then cover and set aside.

Shrimp

Enough peeled and de-veined shrimp for each person to have 4-5.

Place the shrimp on a paper towel to absorb any liquid.  Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan with a thin layer of olive oil.  Sprinkle the shrimp with paprika, salt, and pepper.  When the sauté pan is hot, carefully place the shrimp in the pan in a single layer making sure not to crowd.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Flip over and cook for 3 more minutes or until opaque in color.  Remove to a plate and keep warm.  At this point, I placed slices of crusty bread in the pan to toast in the remaining olive oil.  Flip them over when they are brown on the first side.Cajun Shrimp 1

Roux

3 T olive oil

4 T flour

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet.  When it is hot, carefully pour the flour into it and immediately begin stirring.  Continue to stir the flour and oil, non-stop, until the desired color is reached.

Cajun Shrimp 2

I go for a peanut butter color.

Cajun Shrimp 3

Carefully, add the roux to the seasoned broth for the Cajun Sauce.  Continue to cook until the sauce has thicken (at least 5 minutes to avoid a flour taste).

CAUTION:  Be extremely careful when making Roux.  If it gets on your skin, it will stick and blister like crazy.  Keep all pets, small children, and husbands out of the kitchen when you are doing this step.  My auntie that lived in Louisiana called roux “Cajun Napalm”.

ASSEMBLY:

Place a spoonful of the creamy grits into a shallow bowl, ladle some of the Cajun Sauce over it and top with the sautéed shrimp.  Make sure to include toasted bread to sop up the left over sauce!

Cajun Shrimp 4

 

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