This recipe is a redo of an awesome dish that we first posted three years ago. We wanted to get better pictures of the shrimp and grits and, most importantly, we just wanted to eat what we think are the best shrimp and grits in the world again. This meal is the perfect comfort food dish to serve for Mardi Gras on Tuesday (or the giant storm that is headed our way!) and it’s surprisingly quick and easy considering the depth of flavor that you can develop with the herbs and spices. Our recipe is different from any of the other shrimp and grits recipes out there because of a) the use of beer and b) the use of horseradish. Sounds kinda weird for Shrimp and Grits but trust us…it works! Also, are we the only ones that have a really hard time NOT overcooking shrimp?! They cook in about three minutes but we never seem to trust that they could be done that fast…learn from our mistake!
This wine was a last minute suggestion of our favorite wine expert at the local wine store. By last minute, I mean that he ran up to us while we were checking out and told us about this wine and how perfectly he thought it would pair with our shrimp and grits. I couldn’t turn him down! Fortunately he was right. The Chenin Blanc brings crisp citrus to the flavor profile while the Viognier adds a soft and juicy component. It was an awesome contrast to the spice of the dish and balanced out the richness of the shrimp and cheesy grits.
I was worried that I was running out of Louisiana beers to pair with our Cajun meals but luckily our beer store had two variations of Abita beer that I hadn’t seen before! Both this pale ale and a dopple bock. I was looking for a lager, black lager, or pale ale to pair with our shrimp and grits so I happily picked up this Restoration Pale Ale. To be honest, I have had far better pale ale but this beer still paired great with the shrimp and grits. I found that the crispness and slight bite from the hops that is present in a good pale ale was missing. However, the very slight hops bite did compliment the spicy shrimp and the overall light flavors helped to wash down the rich flavors of the grits.
Spicy Shrimp and Grits (4 Servings)
3 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup stone ground grits
2 Tbs. butter
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 tbs. olive oil
¼ cup thinly sliced onion
¼ cup green onion (white part only)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup amber beer
4 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper*
1 tsp. Texas Pete
1 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. Old Bay
2 tbs. chopped parsley
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh spinach
1. Bring water and chicken stock to a boil. Add ½ tsp. salt and pepper (to taste.) Slowly stir in grits and cook, covered, over very low heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
2. Cook onion and green onion in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add beer and cook until the the beer has reduced.
3. Stir in lemon juice, cayenne pepper, Texas Pete, horseradish, Old Bay, chopped parsley, garlic, tomatoes, spinach and shrimp and saute for 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Make sure you don’t overcook the shrimp like we always do!
4. Spoon grits onto plates and top with shrimp mixture.
*This recipe is a little spicy! If you don’t like so much heat in your shrimp and grits reduce the amounts of cayenne and Texas Pete.