White Quinoa Grits with Shrimp and Mexican Grilled Corn

Chef Jonathan Brooks puts a fun spin on buttery grits by making the dish with quinoa instead of cornmeal.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
KEY: Dinner, Southern/Soul Food, American, Make Ahead

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quinoa grits
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
shrimp and corn
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 6 basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 extra-large shrimp (1 pound), peeled and deveined, heads left on
  • Chile powder and crumbled cotija cheese, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the grits In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and porridge-like, about 
25 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
  2. Make the shrimp and corn In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate; let cool.
  3. Wipe out the skillet. Add the corn and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 10 to 12 minutes. Cut the kernels off of the cobs and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the basil, cilantro and scallions and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Wipe out the skillet and melt the butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  5. Spoon the quinoa grits into shallow bowls and top with the grilled corn, shrimp and pumpkin seeds. Garnish with chile powder and cotija cheese and serve with lime wedges.

Make Ahead

The grits can be refrigerated for 2 days. Thin with chicken stock or water if they are too thick.

Suggested Pairing

Pair these creamy grits with a honeydew-scented, medium-bodied Spanish white.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published July 2015

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1036126 recipes/white-quinoa-grits-shrimp-and-mexican-grilled-corn 2015-06-15 Jonathan Brooks weeknight-dinner|southern-soul-food|american|4|make-ahead july-2015 recipes,white-quinoa-grits-shrimp-and-mexican-grilled-corn 1036126