Make no mistake, this recipe is not for the calorie counters out there. It’s not low-fat, it involves bacon grease, and I’m not sorry about it! Because it’s THAT. GOOD. Have it for lunch, brunch, or just for a really heavy snack because come on, bacon, shrimp, cheese, YES.
Get some good quality shrimp, about half a pound works if it’s brunch for two. Season them liberally.
Prep all of your add-ins.
Get those grits going. The key to really flavorful grits is to cook them in chicken broth, NOT in water.
Meanwhile, start sauteing your aromatics (for me, that’ll usually be shallots or onions and garlic).
In goes the bacon and seasoned shrimp! The smell will be incredible, trust me.
Finish getting a nice, creamy consistency on those grits, then mix in the butter and cheddar cheese!
This is what you end up with it. I’m here for it. Also, isn’t J the BEST at plating?!
Cajun Bacon Shrimp and Grits
1/2 lb fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined
8 strips thick-cut bacon
1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups of half and half or heavy cream
1 large shallot, chopped finely
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Cajun seasoning (a mix of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt)
Fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 385 degrees. Cook the bacon strips in the oven until crisp, reserving the bacon grease.
- Bring the half and half (or heavy cream) and chicken broth to a boil, season with about 2 tsp of cajun seasoning. Add 1 tbs of the reserved bacon grease. Add the grits to the liquid, bring back to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 7-10 mins or until grits are cooked through and liquid is absorbed. Stir regularly.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat, then saute the shallots and garlic until aromatic. Add the bacon and shrimp, and cook until the shrimp turn pink. Do NOT overcook the shrimp!
- When the grits are done, mix in the butter and cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate (or bowl) the grits, top with the shrimp and bacon mixture, and garnish with the fresh parsley.