Grits, the Southern version of polenta, can be dressed up or down in countless ways. But our favorite way to serve them is with a classic accompaniment of New Orleans-style spicy shrimp. If you love heat, feel free to use a larger amount of chipotle chile or serve with more red chile flakes on the side.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 25 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking white grits
- 5 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Bring 1 tablespoon butter, the milk, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, hot sauce, garlic, and 2 1/4 cups water to the boil in a pot with lid over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter until melted.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons of the drippings.
- Add the onion to the pan; cook 2 minutes to soften slightly then add shrimp to pan. Cook until pink in color and firm, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooked bacon, tomatoes, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, chipotle chili with sauce, red pepper flakes, and broth. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer, about 3 minutes more. Serve over grits; sprinkle with green onions.