Hi, how’re y’all doing today? I am doing just fine because I am sharing my authentic southern shrimp and grits recipe today. Yes, I know, I am Hispanic, what do I know about authentic shrimp and grits? Well, I do know a thing or two. And, since I can’t head south for the real thing just yet, I’ll just pretend and whet my appetite for some good low-country food.
Low country food is food that originated in the coastal regions of the Carolinas’ and Georgia. Some of the most popular ingredients in low-country cuisine are fish, shrimp, oysters, veggies, and rice.
I can’t honestly say that I have always liked authentic southern shrimp and grits. As a matter of fact I just started warming up to this southern specialty about two years ago when my family and I traveled to Myrtle Beach to visit my mother in law who winters there. This dish is typical in those parts and just about every single restaurant around serves it, each adding its own twist.
This time around I decided to try it. Part of being a food blogger is trying new things, or even giving certain foods a second chance. So, on one of our outings I gave authentic southern shrimp and grits another try. Guess what? I liked it A LOT! I don’t know what my problem was before.
I ordered this dish at a great restaurant that faces the water. The ambiance is incredible. So, I sat there watching the ocean roll in and out, savoring my authentic southern shrimp and grits. By the way, that is what everyone else at my table ordered too.
Authentic Southern shrimp and grits has all the qualities I look for in food: it’s rich, but delicate; it’s creamy, there’s shrimp in it. IT’S SCRUMPTIOUS!
So where do grits come from?
My research says that from Muskogee tribe’s way of preparing Indian corn by grinding it down to a texture that was “gritty”. Indian corn is similar to hominy which in turn was at one time used as currency. Grits was an integral part of the diet of the Gullah, the descendants of West African slaves. Although shrimp and grits was considered slightly upscale, the Gullah would often catch shrimp to supplement their basic diet.
Authentic southern shrimp and grits is an integral part of southern cuisine. Jekyll Island, Georgia celebrates the Shrimp and Grits Festival every September. I can’t wait to make this trip a part of my ongoing culinary experience.
Let me know how you like this dish, or if you’ve ever tried it. I would love to hear from you.
Authentic Southern Shrimp and Grits
- 1 cup grits
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup cheddar
- 12 oz. shrimp
- 1 slice bacon thick slices, cubed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion small, sliced thinly
- 12 oz petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp. parsley for garnish
Bring milk and vegetable oil to a boil, and slowly add the grits 1/4 cup at a time. Stir frequently to avoid clumping.
Mix in the butter, and cook on low for about 20 minutes.
Toss in the cheese and stir to blend.
While the grits are cooking start cooking the shrimp.
To prepare the shrimp.
In a small dish blend together salt, cayenne, and cinnamon.
Begin cooking bacon in a non-stick skillet.
Once the bacon begins to turn brown, add in the onion, and garlic and continue to cook until onion is translucent.
Toss in the shrimp, and cook until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Sprinkle with spice mixture.
Add in the tomatoes, and the vegetable broth.
Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Divide grits equally into 4 bowls, and top with shrimp.