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Spicy Shrimp and Grits

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Spicy Shrimp and Grits

Spicy Shrimp and Grits
Susie Cushner
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total prep
From the first bite, I knew that these extra-creamy grits, seasoned with a duo of cheeses and topped with tomatoes, shrimp, and andouille sausage, were redolent of New Orleans. This Louisiana-inspired dish is a great choice for a weekend brunch, especially around Mardi Gras. The grits, which can be assembled a day ahead, need only about a half hour in the oven. That leaves you with plenty of time to prepare the colorful shrimp and sausage topping. A warm, crusty baguette and a mixed green salad would make fine partners to this delicious main course.

Recipe courtesy of Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings by Betty Rosbottom/Chronicle Books, 2012.


  • Spicy Shrimp:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 oz/170 g andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 in/12 mm dice
  • 1/3 cup/30 g chopped green onion (including 2 in/5 cm of green parts)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • One 14 oz/400 g can diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, plus more if needed
  • 1 lb/455 g medium shrimp (30-count), peeled and deveined with tails left on
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Southern Cheese Grits (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Southern Cheese Grits :
  • Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 4 cups/960 ml water
  • 1 cup/170 g old-fashioned (not instant or quick) grits (see cooking tip below)
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup/60 g grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup/60 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


  • To prepare southern cheese grits:
  • Butter a shallow, 2 qt/2 L oven-to-table baking dish.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan (with a lid) set over medium-high heat. Pour the grits in slowly. Add 3/4 tsp salt and whisk well.
  • When the mixture comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the grits at a gentle simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, so they do not stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the grits have thickened, about 15 minutes or according to package directions.
  • Remove the grits from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup/40 g of the cheddar and all of the Parmesan. Add the black pepper and cayenne and season with more salt, if needed. Spread the grits in an even layer in the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup/20 g cheddar over the top. (The grits can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
  • Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/gas 4. Bake the grits until they are hot and the cheese has melted on top, 25 minutes. If you would like to brown the cheese, arrange an oven rack 4 to 5 in/10 to 12 cm from the broiler and broil until the cheese starts to brown lightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • Cooking Tip:
  • If using stone-ground grits, be sure to follow the package directions as they may call for a different amount of water and a longer cooking time.

  • To prepare the Spicy Shrimp:
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Add the green onions and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cayenne and stir for 2 minutes more. Finally, add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until they turn pink and curl, 4 to 5 minutes (do not overcook). Season with salt and pepper. (For a spicier taste, add additional cayenne.)
  • Place the grits on each of six plates. Spoon the shrimp mixture down the center of the grits. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the shrimp and serve.