This southern specialty sometimes is called breakfast shrimp, but whatever name you want to call it, this is my favorite dish to make from a Sunday Brunch. This shrimp and Grits are a complete meal. The rich, creamy grits with sautéed shrimp with crispy bacon. This Shrimp and Grits dish is one breakfast favorite that my family is always going for seconds and thirds of this dish. When I lived in Atlanta, this dish was served at most of the southern restaurants, sometimes you would see catfish and grits, but it seems Southern Love them some Shrimp and grits. Now that I live in New York, you do not see Shrimp and Grits' combination on any menu, and even the southern restaurant does not have it on the menu. So, this is one dish I seem to make a lot at home because around my way. You are not finding it at your restaurants that served Brunch or at your favorite Southern spot. If you have been following this blog, you know I love to share the history of the foods I love to cook and post on this page. So below, you will see how shrimp and Grits came about.
Shrimp, Sailors, and South Carolina
“Shrimp and grits began as a simple dish, first appearing in South Carolina as a dish called breakfast shrimp. During prime shrimp season, many sailors began their day with shrimp cooked in butter and served over smooth, southern grits. Though the sailors were early adopters of this briny breakfast, it is now widely enjoyed as an iconic dish of the South.”
In 1982, chef Bill Neal in Chapel Hill, North Carolina changed the shrimp and grits game
forever. In the humble kitchen of a restaurant called Crook’s Corner, Neal created his own version of the Southern fare with two key additions: cheese and bacon. Of course, that made the dish even better! Customers flocked to try Neal’s creamy Parmesan and cheddar grits, topped with fresh shrimp and crispy pieces of bacon. He also incorporated ingredients like sautéed mushrooms to add a hearty finish to the dish.
So, you learned the History Of Shrimp and Grits, let's jump to the recipe!
Grits 1 cup stone-ground (grits) (not instant)
2 cups Chicken broth
2 cups Water
salt to taste
2 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese.
1 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined)
8 oz. bacon or Pancetta
1/3 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes.
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup diced green onion.
You want to bring your water and chicken broth to boil in a medium pot and season with some Kosher salt. Add your grits, lower heat to medium/medium-low heat. Cover and let it simmer for about twenty minutes. It is intermittently stirring.
Once your grit is thoroughly cooked, take it off the burner. Stir in cheese and butter until melted.
You are going to Peel and devein shrimp if needed.
You start to prepare your food by dicing up the bacon first into small pieces (I'm using pancetta for my dish), sliced shallots, green onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and peeling your garlic.
In a medium cooking skillet, over medium heat, cook diced bacon until brown and crunchy. Take out bacon bits and set them aside.
Add Sun-Dried and shallots to the pan with bacon grease. Sauté until golden.
Add your minced garlic and green onion to the pan. Sauté until you see it is fully cooked.
Add the Lemon Juice and chicken broth to the pan. Stir and bring to simmer.
Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink and on one side. Flip shrimp to the other side and let it cook until that side turns pink. It depends on your stove—Cook, the shrimp for two minutes on each side.
Take the pan off the burner. Now you have just cooked a complete meal.