Oh boy…I knew I loved Shrimp & Grits but didn’t know how much I loved it until I made Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits!
Please tell me you eat Pimento Cheese! I know it’s an old-timey Southern thing, but it’s easily one of my favorite things to put on a sandwich…probably tied with the BLT for my favorite. And we all know that Cheese Grits are a staple of any good cook’s repertoire so why not combine the two?
Another big positive for this dish is that it comes together very quickly. You can have this on the table in under 30 minutes with time to spare. More time to make yourself some sort of bourbon-laced cocktail!
Here’s what you need:
Large Shrimp, Grits (I use quick but NOT instant), Onion, Celery, Cheddar Cheese, Pimentos, Heavy Cream, Old Bay Seasoning*, Butter*, Green Onions* for garnish, and Salt & Pepper*
*Yes, a lot of ingredients didn’t make it into the ingredient photo. The pictures, or lack thereof are not great for this one but as you know, it’s been a while since I’ve been here at Idiot’s Kitchen so I didn’t want to wait for better pictures. We have Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits to eat and no time to waste. Plus this is an easy one…we’ve got this.
Here we go…do a little prep work. Finely chop 1/2 a small onion, about 1/2 cup, and 1 stalk of celery.
Peel and devein 1 pound of large shrimp (buy good, wild-caught shrimp if you can since they are the main event here) and season them with about 1 Tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning.
Grate a very hearty cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese. I’m probably pushing 1½ cups.
Start your grits by bringing 5 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is at a full boil, turn the heat down to medium and SLOWLY pour in 1 cup of grits.
Stir like crazy so you have a smooth pot of grits. If you just dump them in you will get a lumpy mess and have to do a lot of whisking.
Turn the heat down to medium low so it is at a simmer. Beware of big, hot, popping grit bubbles. They HURT when they bubble up and hit your hand so use a very long handled spoon.
You don’t really have to baby these, just give them a stir occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom and be sure they are still at a slow bubble.
When the grits have been cooking for about 5 minutes and have started to thicken, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add the onions and celery. Pretend that the celery is in this photo, please.
Cook the veggies for 4-5 minutes until tender and golden and then add the shrimp.
You might need to shift the shrimp around in the pan so they are in contact with the hot surface. The shrimp only need 2-3 minutes per side to cook.
Meanwhile, check in on your grits. They should have thickened up nicely.
Add the grated cheddar cheese and 3 Tablespoons of chopped pimentos from a jar. I add some of the liquid that is in with the pimentos too.
Stir to melt the cheese and season to taste with salt & pepper.
When the shrimp have cooked through, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the pan to make a small bit of sauce. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
To serve, spoon the Pimento Cheese grits into the bottom of shallow bowls. Even if your grits are a bit runny, they will thicken up as they cool and set up in the bowls.
Divide the shrimp between the bowls. Technically, 1 pound of shrimp should feed 4 people but we are big shrimp eaters here so for us it’s more like 3 servings…2 for dinner and 1 leftover to fight over. The grits will definitely make 4 servings.
Speaking of the grits, these are amazing all on their own and make a great, easy side dish for any sort of grilled or BBQ meats. We had the leftover grits with smoked pork chops. So good and even more pimento cheese flavored the next day.
Spoon the pan sauce over the shrimp and garnish with a few chopped green onions.
Hopefully you can tell how much I love this meal. Any time you can get more pimento cheese into your life, it’s a good thing!
Shrimp and Grits, especially Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits, gets my vote every time!
Here’s the recipe: