12large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact
2 tspsmoked paprika
1/2 tspblack pepper
2minced garlic cloves
2 tbspunsalted butter
1 andouille sausage, diced
1/4cupchicken stock (water is fine)
2thinly sliced green onion
Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Generously salt water and stir in grits. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer mixture for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and creamy.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter until fully incorporated and melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Shrimp and Sausage
Place shrimp, lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, cayenne, and garlic into a mixing bowl and toss together. Set aside.
Melt butter into a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside.
Add shrimp to skillet and sauté for about 3 minutes on each side. Deglaze pan with chicken stock (or water) and cover for 1 minute.
Add sausage back to skillet and stir together.
Remove shrimp and sausage mixture from heat and divide over each bowl of grits. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.
Tips and Tricks for Shrimp and Grits Success
For the Grits
Make sure to salt the water before adding grits because cooked grits don't absorb anymore salt.
It's important that grits are made low and slow to ensure the starches are released and you get a creamy and smooth texture.
For an extra creamy texture, finish grits with a little bit of heavy cream when stirring in the cheese and butter. This step is totally optional and not included in our recipe below butis nice when you really want an over the top grits situation.
For the Shrimp Mixture
Adding stock or water to the skillet with the shrimp and covering it with a lid for a minute will allow the shrimp to steam and nicely cook through to the center. Without allowing the shrimp to steam, you run the risk of overcooking the outside, while the center may stay raw. - and no one wants that!
Make Ahead and Reheating
Although we think shrimp and grits is a dish that's best made fresh, you can make it ahead of time with great results.
Make Ahead Shrimp and Grits
To make ahead, make both the grits and shrimp mixture according to the recipe instructions. Cool each component separately and store each separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. The grits can be made and stored up to 5 days ahead of time. The shrimp mixture can be made and stored up to 2 days ahead of time.
To reheat grits, pour a small amount of milk and butter or stock into a saucepan (about 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 tablespoon butter, for every 1 cup of cooked grits) and simmer over medium-low heat. Add cooked grits and whisk together until grits begin to loosen up, meld together with the extra liquid and butter and heat through. Season with salt and pepper as needed and remove from heat.
Reheating Shrimp Mixture
To reheat shrimp mixture, place a skillet over medium-low heat and add a small amount of oil. Add shrimp mixture to skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add a couple tablespoons of water to skillet and cover for 1 minute, or until shrimp mixture has heated through and liquid has evaporated. Season with a little salt and pepper as needed.