If you've talked to anyone who's visited New Orleans, they will tell you about the rich culture and incredible food. From warm beignets to succulent crawfish, New Orleans is home to some of the most flavorful dishes. Cajun shrimp and grits is another southern dish that many locals and tourists love. Get a taste of The Big Easy right at home with this easy cajun shrimp and grits recipe.

Ingredients

Shrimp

  • Shrimp (uncooked, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning ( we love Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

Grits

  • 1 cup grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Sauce (Roux)

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 slice sugar-cured ham (optional)

Directions

  1. First, start by peeling and deveining the shrimp. If your shrimp is frozen run under cold water to defrost them.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the shrimp, making sure to evenly coat them, and set the shrimp aside.
  3. Now it's time to make the grits. In a medium saucepan, bring water, bouillon cubes, and butter to a boil. Then, slowly add the grits, whisking with a wire whisk or fork for 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add tomato paste, cheese, and cream. Whisk for another 3 minutes or until grits become smooth and creamy.
  5. After your grits are done, sautée the shrimp. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add minced garlic, stir for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add in the shrimp and cook until they are firm. Be careful to not over overcook the shrimp. A way to tell if shrimp are done cooking is to look at their color--they should go from grey/translucent to pink. Shrimp should take about 4-5 minutes to cook over medium heat. After sauteeing the shrimp, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Next, it's time to make the sauce or roux. Using the drippings from the skillet you sauteed the shrimp in, add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir.
  8. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce forms a light brown color. Then, slowly add chicken stock and heavy whipping cream, whisk for 2 minutes. Add in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Let simmer for about 1 minute and set aside.
  9. If you want to get a little extra, you can top your shrimp and grits with ham. First, sautee 1 slice of cured ham in a small skillet and cut into cubes.

When ready to serve, scoop out grits into a bowl, sprinkle cheese, add zesty shrimp, drizzle on the roux, and top with ham slices. With one bite, you'll swear you're on a Louisiana bayou.

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