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Shrimp with Creamy Grits

This dish has all of the luscious appeal of traditional Southern shrimp and grits—warm, cheesy cornmeal topped with tender, sweet seafood. But what makes it even better is the brilliant addition of a spicy, garlicky sauce.

Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 8 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 cups stone-ground white grits
  • 1/4 pound white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 6 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pure olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the grits and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the grits are tender and very thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese and butter and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, thread the jalapeños onto skewers. Roast them along with the poblanos over a gas flame or under a broiler as close to the heat as possible, until blackened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes, then rub off the skins under running water. Stem and seed the chiles.
  3. In a small saucepan, cook the garlic in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is softened and very lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a blender. Add the chiles and the orange juice and puree until smooth. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and puree until creamy. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons of garlic oil. Heat a very large skillet until very hot, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned and just cooked through, about 1 minute per side.
  5. Spoon the grits into bowls and top with the shrimp. Spoon the chile sauce all around and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Buttery, rich Chardonnay.

Contributed By Published October 2005

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