Farm fresh tomatoes turn this Southern classic into a tasty, fast and summery weeknight dinner.
Don’t get me wrong, traditional shrimp and grits, loaded with cheddar cheese, is definitely a favorite. This recipe is a delicious riff though. By leaving the cheese out, and adding fresh tomatoes and a bright hit of lemon juice, the dish becomes just light enough to be welcome on a hot summer weeknight.
When it comes to grits, or polenta, there are a plethora of options. By using cornmeal in a regular or medium grind Summer Shrimp and Grits will still clock in at under 20 minutes. There is also instant out there which takes around five minutes.
If you haven’t had it, it’s kind of like the difference between old fashioned rolled oats and instant oatmeal. Old fashioned takes longer to cook and has much more texture than instant. It’s the same with grits. Medium grind cornmeal takes about 20 minutes to cook and will still have a bit of chew and definite corn flavor whereas instant will be tenderer and have slightly less flavor due to it being preprocessed.
You can also use raw or precooked shrimp, but the 51-60 size cook so quickly, you’re only shaving a couple minutes off the cook time. Of course sometimes you need that couple minutes! Regardless, use any type of shrimp you like, raw or cooked, just make sure that it’s peeled, deveined and I prefer tailless. I think it’s annoying to have to pull off or bite off the tails when shrimp are in a dish that’s clearly meant to be eaten with a fork. Now peel and eat, or even a big ol’ shrimp cocktail is a different bag of cats.
So treat yourself to this summery shrimp and grits and find the best flavorful tomatoes you can. We’ll be back to winter and canned tomatoes before you know it.
For more shrimpy goodness, checkout:
Summer Shrimp and Grits
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup cornmeal grits or polenta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound 51-60 count peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 cup diced tomato about 1 medium/large tomato
- 2 green onions thinly sliced (or chives)
- 1 lemon juiced
- Bring water and butter to boil in a medium sauce. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- In a 12” skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook until pink on one side, about two minutes. Turn shrimp and cook until pink throughout about two more minutes.
- Stir tomatoes, green onion and lemon juice into shrimp and heat through. Serve over grits.
Since you’ll already have two burners going on the stove, line a broiler pan with foil, toss asparagus with oil, salt and pepper and broil for 4-5 minutes, flipping once.