This Cheesy Beer Shrimp and Grits is made with stone ground grits, white sharp cheddar cheese, jalapeño peppers, and shrimp sautéed with beer.
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All through college, I worked as a server at a Cracker Barrel– a ‘country-food’ restaurant. I spent my time trying to finagle my way into earning better tips by mastering a fake Southern accent, showing customers how to win the little peg game that tormented them during their meals, and also throwing massive amounts of uneaten grits into the trash. This was a minor tragedy, because I’m guessing most people didn’t even taste the grits before pushing them aside. Do you like grits? Have you tried them?
If you already love grits– keep reading! This Cheesy Beer Shrimp and Grits is a delicious take on a Southern classic. If you’re not sure how you feel about grits, give this recipe a try! It uses stone-ground grits instead of instant grits, and is a quick and easy flavor-packed meal.
What kind of grits should you buy? Technically, you can use any grits you want! For the ‘bestest of the best of the best’ shrimp and grits, though– buy stone ground grits!
Not sure what stone ground grits are? If your grits package is marked ‘instant’– then you don’t have stone ground grits. Grits labelled “instant” are partially pre-cooked, can be cooked extremely quickly, but have they don’t have the flavor and texture of stone ground grits. Just like with instant oats versus steel cut oats, when it comes to texture and flavor, instant grits lose to stone ground grits every time. If you’re having trouble finding stone ground grits, I buy mine at Trader Joe’s. You can also buy stone ground grits online.
For the beer, I just use whatever beer the husband has stashed away in the fridge– usually a lager or pale ale, but this is also delicious with a stout or porter. Try to make sure you don’t accidentally cook with a semi-expensive, micro-brewery specialty beer that your special someone has been saving for months. Try really hard not to do that. (If you accidentally use your sweetie’s favorite beer, give them some extra cheese and shrimp, and it’ll all be okay.)
Making Cheesy Beer Shrimp and Grits
Cheesy Beer Shrimp and Grits takes about twenty-five minutes to cook, and is perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner! Simply start cooking the grits, and then start your shrimp. Sauté the garlic in a little olive oil, add the shrimp until it’s just cooked, and then simmer everything in a little beer for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Once the grits are cooked through, stir in the jalapeños and cheese. Scoop the grits into bowls, and top it with the shrimp and the beer broth. Serve the Cheesy Beer Shrimp and Grits while it’s all still hot, and then go back for seconds!
A Note on Responsibly Sourced Shrimp: Normally, when I post ‘notes’ about seafood safety, it’s about the safety of either the fish (choosing sustainable seafood), or about the safety of the eater (avoiding high levels of mercury and taking extra precautions with raw fish). With shrimp, however, there’s another consideration– the farmers and peelers. Imported shrimp (specifically, shrimp from Thailand) has been tied to forced slave labor, and has infiltrated huge amounts of the shrimp available inside the United States. To avoid buying shrimp tied to slave labor, look for shrimp that has NOT been imported, or that clearly labels its origin.
Want more seafood? Try these:
Cheesy Beer Shrimp and Grits
Delicious for Breakfast, Brunch, or Dinner
- 1 cup stone ground grits (not instant- I prefer Trader Joe's white stone ground)
- 1 TB butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1-2 jalapenos, diced or sliced
- salt + pepper to taste
- 2 TB garlic, minced
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp (small or medium), peeled + deveined
- 1/2 cup beer
- Optional Toppings: Hot Sauce
Cook grits according to package directions.
(Package directions may vary- In general: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil with 1 TB butter and a dash of salt, add grits, then lower heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir often. Add milk, and cook another 10 minutes.)
Meanwhile, sauté garlic in olive oil on medium heat until garlic begins to brown. Add shrimp, and cook 1-2 minutes. Add beer. Simmer about 2 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through and beer begins to evaporate. Remove from heat.
Once grits have cooked, stir in cheese, jalapenos, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve grits in a bowl, and top with shrimp mixture and optional hot sauce.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com