Cajun Shrimp & Grits Recipe

Glorious Grits

Whether grits are breakfast or dinner, side or main, they’re a meal that can bring up warm memories of home with family and friends gathered around the table together. Originating from a stone-milled corn dish commonly made by Native Americans, this simple comfort food can now be found on fine dining menus nationwide. Here, a Chattanooga local shares their go-to recipes and tips for a fantastic meal.

Photography by Ryan Long Photography

 

“Before the pandemic, my family and I loved to go out for brunch. During the lockdown, which was such a dark time, I was looking for ways to bring joy and comfort to my family. We started having Jazz Brunches on Saturdays at home. We’d yell at Alexa to play jazz, and at the top of my menu were my Cajun Shrimp and Grits. Comfort in a bowl!”

-Vanita Fields-Appleberry, East RidgeVanita Fields-Appleberry portfolio

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Vanita Fields-Appleberry and her Cajun shrimp and grits

Cajun Shrimp & Grits

Vanita Fields-Appleberry
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the Cajun shrimp:

  • 5 strips of thick cut bacon
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 green onions, chopped + additional for topping
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. raw shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup half & half

For the white cheddar grits:

  • 6 cups water or chicken broth for added flavor
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned grits
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions
 

For the Cajun shrimp:

  • Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy and the fat has rendered.
  • Remove bacon and reserve 2 Tbsp. oil; discard the rest.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, green onion, and garlic to the hot bacon fat.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.
  • Add shrimp and spices.
  • Cook until shrimp are no longer translucent and become bright pink in color, about 5 minutes.
  • Add half & half and continue to simmer for about 8 minutes.
  • Add any additional spices to taste.

For the white cheddar grits:

  • In a large pot on high heat, bring water or broth to a boil.
  • Slowly whisk in grits.
  • Cover and simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
  • When grits are tender, add cheese, half & half, and salt to taste.
  • Stir until smooth and creamy. Keep warm.
  • To serve, spoon grits in a bowl, and top with shrimp mixture.
  • Garnish with crisp bacon and green onion.
Keyword cajun recipes, cajun shrimp and grits, cajun shrimp and grits recipe, comfort food recipes
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