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An elevated twist on a Southern American classic! Sauteed shrimp, bacon, and spicy chorizo in a citrusy tomato broth spooned over a bed of lemony greens upon cheddar and chive grits. Balanced, rich, and incredibly delicious comfort food!
This recipe was really hard to name!! Yes, it’s Shrimp and Grits, but somehow I feel like this title is so limited! Yes, of course, we have grits. But I can’t fail to mention that they are creamy, cheesy, and with tiny aromatic snips of fresh chives and chopped arugula.
And, yes, it’s Shrimp! But wouldn’t it be a sin not to mention that they are sauteed in a masterfully layered sauce with a citrusy white wine and tomato broth, rich with bacon and a hint of smokey Spanish cured chorizo.
And how about the nutrient-rich bed of arugula thoughtfully placed between the grits, shrimp, and sauce. Bitey and fresh, simply tossed lemon and olive oil.
So, surely you see my dilemma here! How can I express all the thoughtful elements used to balance this recipe for the classic Southern, homey comfort food? Truly, it’s like a food blogger nightmare! But hey, your here right.. so now that I have your attention, let’s get cooking!
What kind of grits should I use?
I highly recommend using a course stone-ground grit. In fact, you might notice that in these pictures I have have used yellow grits, which is also known as “Polenta”. Polenta and grits are practically the same thing, they are both ground dried corn. The difference in color comes from the variety of corn used. Polenta is derived from yellow corn and grits are made from white corn.
Personally I prefer the flavor of polenta over grits and I also like the more nuanced, course, and gritty (pun intended) texture that the polenta has. So as you can see, I’m going to steer you to the polenta side. However, whether you chose to go white or yellow, there are two rules that must be abided: go for course grind and DO NOT USE instant grits!
What kind of Chorizo do I use?
Again, you have 2 types of Chorizo and I really need to stress that they are going to give you two completely different results. For this recipe, you are going to use a Spanish cured chorizo. It will look like a dried- cured meat, similar to the way a salumi would look. The other type of chorizo is Mexican chorizo and looks more like a sausage link.
The Spanish chorizo brings a punch of savory smokiness to the sauce, without adding and overpowering texture that distracts from the shrimp. Very similar to the role that the bacon is playing. It’s there to add flavor, not chew. A Mexican chorizo, while fabulous in tacos, will just be a little too much meatiness, for Shrimp and Grits… in my opinion.
How to Make Chorizo and Bacon Shrimp over Cheddar-Chive Grits
Start with the Grits:
Grits are simple!! Boil water. Add cornmeal, cover, and cook.
Lower the heat and add the chives, arugula, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Then add the milk and butter.
Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Then dress the greens:
Simply toss arugula with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
Now make the shrimp with broth:
Begin by crisping bacon in skillet. You will use about 2-3 tbsp of the rendered fat and discard the rest.
Add chorizo and onion, saute´ for about 5 minutes until onions are just translucent. Deglaze with white wine, scraping any flavorful brown bits from bottom of pan.
Add garlic and tomatoes. Cover and Simmer for 10 minutes. Until tomatoes have softened and a flavorful broth is created. Add shrimp to skillet and cook until cooked through, about 4 mintues.
How to plate and serve:
Portion desired amount of grits to bottom of wide and shallow bowl, top with a bed of the dressed greens. Add shrimp and spoon tomato, bacon broth over the shrimp and grits. Garnish with chopped scallions or freshly cracked black pepper, if desired.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY:
Chorizo & Bacon Shrimp over Cheddar-Chive Grits
Shrimp with Bacon-Tomato Broth
- 1 cup bacon chopped
- ½ cup dry cured spanish chorizo diced
- ½ small/medium sized onion sliced
- 3 clove garlic minced
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1½ lbs medium shrimp peeled, devined, tail off
- 1 cup dry white wine
Cheddar and Chive Grits
- 1½ cup course ground yellow grits also called polenta
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup chives chopped
- 2 oz arugula chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 oz Arugula
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅛ cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp kosher salt
How to Make the Cheddar Chive Grits
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in medium sized pot. When water comes to boil, reduce heat and add in grits or polenta. Whisk to prevent clumping.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove cover occasoinally and stir to prevent sticking and clumping. Depending on the heat of stove and type of grits used they may finish faster than 20 minutes.
- When all water is absorbed, lower heat and then stir in the cheese, chives, arugula, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and then add the milk and butter. Stir and taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Combine arugula, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in mixing bowl and toss.
How to Make the Shrimp
- Place the bacon in a cold skillet, and turn the heat to medium. Render out the fat and cook the bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Push crispy bacon to one side of pan Spoon out all but 2-3 tbsp of bacon fat. Leaving just enough rendered fat to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Add chorizo and onion, and saute for about 5 minutes until onions are just translucent. Deglaze with white wine, scraping any flavorful brown bits from bottom of pan.
- Add garlic and tomatoes. Cover and Simmer for 10 minutes. Until tomatoes have softened and a flavorful broth is created.
- Add shrimp to skillet and cook until cooked through, about 4 mintues.
- Portion desired amount of grits to bottom of wide and shallow bowl, top with a bed of the dressed greens. Add shrimp and spoon tomato, bacon broth over the shrimp and grits. Garnish with chopped scallions or freshly cracked black pepper, if desired.