Full disclosure: this recipe is not a weight watchers compatible recipe. Sure, shrimp is healthy, and grits aren't bad either, but adding bacon and a ton of cheese doesn't help the waistline!
Also, as someone who was raised in Colorado and southern California (whose grandparents are yankees and dakotans), I do not pretend to be an expert on grits so please don't compare mine to your grandma's old southern recipe 🙂 !
-Quick Grits or organic grits, cooked according to the package directions
-1/2 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese (more or less to taste)
-dash of milk or cream
-1/2 pound shrimp
-3 slices bacon, cooked slowly until crispy, then crumbled (optional)
-Garlic or garlic powder, and paprika, depending on your preference or what you have on hand
If you have some leftover bacon, this is a one-pot meal, which is perfect for me on a hectic weekday! Total cooking and prep time is under 15 minutes.
Start by cooking grits to the packages directions. The quick grits I used said to place in boiling water, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. After the grits started to thicken up, I added the cheese, crumbled bacon, garlic (although I think garlic powder works best for such a quick recipe in retrospect) and about a tablespoon and a half of smoked spanish paprika (we love paprika here- it can be easily lost in a rich dish like this so I added quite a bit. It helps balance the cheese's flavor). My grits got a little too thick (I like them pretty creamy) so I added a bit of milk to thin them out.
When the grits were almost done, I tossed in the uncooked shrimp. I let them cook for two minutes on the heat, and then took the pan off the heat to cool a bit. The shrimp continue to cook in the piping hot grits- so to avoid overcooked shrimp, either sautee them in the bacon grease (yum) and add them to the top of the grits at the end, or add them into your grits almost before serving. Shrimp should be opaque and pink, not grey, but should not cook verylong after the whole body appears pink, or it will be rubbery and sometimes will taste fishy.