Shrimp with Asiago grits

Comfort food — Big Easy style

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There aren't many Southern dishes as comforting as a big bowl of cheesy grits. In Louisiana, they skip the traditional cheddar in favor of a cheese that reflects their Italian heritage and serve it with fresh-caught shrimp.

Longing for some Low Country cuisine? This crowd-pleaser features cheesy grits with a generous helping of freshly grated Asiago. For bolder palates, Tabasco and fresh jalapeño give this iconic Southern classic a spicy spin.

Shrimp with Asiago grits recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Asiago cheese grits:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups instant grits
  • 1-1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Shrimp gravy:

  • 1-1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the diced onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic until they begin to soften and the onion starts to become translucent.
  2. Thoroughly mix in flour and Creole seasoning.
  3. Let flour and vegetable mixture cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add white cooking wine and allow to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil to thicken the sauce.
  5. Once sauce begins to thicken, stir in half and half and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. Add the Tabasco sauce and shrimp, allowing the shrimp to cook in the gravy for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the shrimp become slightly curled and pink.
  7. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock and water to a rolling boil.
  8. Gradually add instant grits to the boiling broth, constantly stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps from forming.
  9. Cook until the grits start to thicken and add the half and half and butter to loosen the mixture until fully incorporated.
  10. Melt in freshly grated Asiago cheese.
  11. To serve, pour the shrimp and gravy onto the grits and garnish with green onions.

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Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix the Fish. You can follow her on Twitter @HireHeather.