I love good old, down home, comfort food. For me, grits fits right into that category. Grits, popular in the Southern part of our great nation, were actually a Native American food – basically, a coarsely ground corn. Generally, I eat grits for breakfast – either with butter (and milk) or with eggs. I believe shrimp and grits are popular in what they call the Low Country area of South Carolina. While it seems to be a breakfast dish there, I prefer to eat it for dinner. Being so plain makes grits very versatile. In this recipe, I made white cheddar grits to go along with my shrimp and chorizo mixture. I make a large portion of the grits so that I have leftovers for different meals and I find that they freeze pretty well.
CHEDDAR GRITS WITH SHRIMP & CHORIZO
For the Grits:
6 Cups Water
2 Cups Half-n-Half (you can also just use milk)
2-3 Tsp Salt (depending on your taste)
1/2 Tsp Pepper
2 Cups Quick Cooking Grits
1 – 1 1/2 Cups of White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
5 TBS Butter (you can use unsalted)
1. Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Add the dry grits and whisk continuously.
3. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk until well blended and creamy.
4. Add the cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.
5. Remove from heat and let stand. Once thickened but still hot, add butter and stir until smooth.
For the Shrimp & Chorizo Mixture:
1 lb. Shrimp (medium sized)
3 medium links of Chorizo (I prefer Marca El Rey Brand), diced small
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 TBS Butter
1. Brown chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes. The chorizo will create quite a bit of orangish oil.
2. Remove chorizo from pan and drain most of oil, leaving a good layer to coat your shrimp. Add butter until melted and then add shrimp. Cook shrimp until pink, about 3 minutes or so.
3. Add chorizo back to pan. Add fresh garlic and stir until fragrant. At this point everything is cooked through, so only toss for less than a minute so as to avoid the garlic burning and turning bitter.
4. Divide grits into serving bowls and top each helping with the shrimp and chorizo mixture. Serve immediately.