HAVE MERCY. This is a mic drop of a dish. It’s on par with something you could find at a coastal restaurant. It’s suitable for brunching, stay in date night, or just to impress your friends while day drinking.
I’m all about them grits. And these are a little different. The little flecks of corn and garlic with smoked gouda and cheddar bring a ho-hum boring dish of grits to the next level.
You don’t have to grill the grits if you don’t want to. It’s messy and takes a bit of skill to flip them. I wrote the recipe so you could just serve up the grits on the plate ungrilled and top it the same way.
You can really do anything you want… except stop eating it. It’s indulgent comfort food and I am a stage five clinger stalking it.
Just look at it. I just can’t quit you, shrimp grits. It’s a good thing I’m already married because I’d totally run away with these if I could.
What separates good restaurant food from great is 80% presentation. And boy does this one have presentation. Just stack up your grits cakes (or grits sans grilling), then a layer of bacon, then the shrimp, drizzle a little chili oil around the plate, and top with sliced chives. Bon appetit!
Grilled Cheese Grits Cakes with Shrimp
For The Grits:
- 2 Tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 cups half and half
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 cup quick cooking grits (tested with Quaker)
- 14.5 oz can creamed corn
- ½ cup smoked gouda
- 1 cup mild cheddar
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley (minced)
For the Shrimp:
- chili oil (for drizzling)
- 2 Tbsp chives cut into ¾ inch slices
To Make The Grits:
- Melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds, or until fragrant and cooked. Add in half and half and bouillon cube. Increase heat to medium high. Bring to a light boil.
- Whisk in grits until well combined. Add in corn. Whisk constantly until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheeses salt and pepper and whisk until very thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in parsley.
If Not Grilling:
- Divide up grits on the centers of plates. Set aside.
- Pour grits into a lightly greased casserole dish.
- Cover grits with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 4 hours, or until very cold.
- Heat nonstick grill pan or skillet to medium-high. Cut out grits into 2½" to 3" squares. Cook each square for 5 minutes or until crispy. Flip. Repeat. Place 2 squares on the centers of each plate. Set aside.
For The Shrimp:
- Toss shrimp together with cajun seasoning in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Cook bacon in a very large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove and plate on a paper towel lined plate. Leave the grease in the pan.
- Add shrimp to the pan and spread out. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- Add in shallot and thyme and cook for 2 minutes or until shallots are transluscent. Add garlic, saffron, salt and pepper and cook for 20 seconds, stirring around.
- Add in the wine. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce to a simmer and cook until wine is reduced by about half, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add the butter.
- Peel shells off shrimp and discard. Stir shrimp in wine reduction Return to low heat if shrimp have any pieces of gray still in them. Shrimp is done the moment all the gray is gone.
- Cut or tear each piece of bacon in half or in pieces and place on top of the grits.
- Divide the shrimp mixture out on top of each plate of grits.
- Drizzle a little chili oil on the outside of each plate.
- Top each plate with chives. Serve immediately.