Serves a Crowd

Springtime Shrimp and Grits

April 24, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

I grew up in Southwest Louisiana and have never been able to get enough of the region's cuisine. I’ve carried my love of seafood, bold flavors, and spice with me since leaving the Deep South nearly two decades ago. When spring emerges, I feel nostalgic -- ready for shorts, seafood, and summertime when the living is easy. —em-i-lis

Test Kitchen Notes

If you’re looking for a can’t-fail shrimp and grits recipe that will impress your big-armed aunt, a gluten-free Pilates instructor, and Sam Sifton, this is it. It is an easy comfort food dish that flaunts textural contrast and versatile heat, as well as a slightly bitter note thanks to the lemon zest. The whey is not essential, but it definitely improves the dish. You’ll have more than enough if you make a batch of fresh ricotta -- and because making ricotta is cheap, quick, and easy, you should do it. —Jessica Taft

What You'll Need
  • Grits
  • 3 cups whey (leftover from making fresh ricotta) or milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grits (not instant)
  • Veggie Sauté and Shrimp
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked, kernels cut off
  • 1 cup scallions (about 1 bunch), chopped
  • 1/2 cup green garlic (about 3 bulbs), white and light green parts chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon, divided in half
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chives, chopped (or 2 small garlic cloves, chopped, if you can't find any)
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. In a skillet, brown 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the corn, green onions, and green garlic. Sauté, stirring, for about 3 minutes, just until tender. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Do not rinse out skillet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine shrimp, a sprinkle of salt, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 of the lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. In a 4-quart pot, combine the whey, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the grits, and whisk continuously until cooked. Follow instructions on the package for cooking time.
  4. Set the skillet you used for the vegetables over high heat and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once it starts to brown, add in the shrimp and the sherry. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once, until shrimp are orange and just cooked through.
  5. Stir 3/4 of the vegetable mixture into the grits, then pour the whole thing into a serving bowl. Top with the rest of the vegetable mixture. Pour the cooked shrimp and their juices over the grits and vegetables, then sprinkle with the rest of the lemon zest and the chopped garlic chives. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with lemon wedges alongside!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Babette's sous chef
    Babette's sous chef
  • Bevi
  • healthierkitchen
  • em-i-lis
  • fiveandspice

11 Reviews

Babette's S. May 11, 2014
I wonder if one could skip making homemade ricotta and instead drain the whey from a large container of plain yogurt or cottage cheese and use it instead?
em-i-lis May 11, 2014
Could you get 3 cups of whey that way? The ricotta whey lends a wonderful cheesiness that I'm not sure would be replicated by yogurt whey but it's worth a try! You could also use some buttermilk or milk or a combo of one of those and an other whey.
Bevi April 7, 2013
This looks sooooo good! I am going to make lapadia's ricotta recipe and then proceed on to this!
em-i-lis April 8, 2013
Thank you so much, Bevi!! It's getting to be the perfect time of year for this. Wishing for fresh corn but that's still some ways away. Hope you enjoy!!
healthierkitchen April 25, 2012
Funny, I did not grow up in LA, but I'm stil craving this!
em-i-lis April 25, 2012
Nothing wrong with that! :)
em-i-lis April 24, 2012
thanks, y'all!
fiveandspice April 24, 2012
Great idea! This sounds awesome! Love the whey in the polenta, too.
fiveandspice April 24, 2012
Er, and by polenta I mean grits. I'm such a northerner. Can't even tell the two apart! :)
drbabs April 24, 2012
Funny, em, I grew up in New Orleans and have been having the same cravings.... I made shrimp over polenta for dinner Friday night.
em-i-lis April 24, 2012
that is so funny, drbabs. wonder if it's some sort of inner knowledge that in LA it is definitely warm and springy now, not the hit or miss we're having in DC/NY. :)