My Mom’s birthday was a few weeks ago and it has been a tradition the past few years that I cook the birthday meal. Leading up to the big day I called her to find out if she had anything in mind for this year’s dinner and she responded right away with…Shrimp and Cheesy Grits. I had made this dish for her last year from an awesome recipe I found on Pinterest. The only problem was my prized pinned recipe could no longer be found on Pinterest. I hunted the internet to try and track down this recipe with no success.
I was determined to bring my Mom her shrimp and cheesy grits so I decided I would make it myself. The only thing I remembered about the Pinterest recipe is that the grits were laced with mascarpone cheese. (not your traditional grits mix-in). There were also tomatoes in the sauce if I remembered correctly.
I was able to pull together a great meal that the whole family enjoyed.
I am still on my gluten free for 30 days challenge and this recipe is a part of that series. BUT you must note that while the dish is gluten free it is by no means super healthy. This is what I like to consider a splurge meal. However; is definitely worth the binge!
…all for the love of the dish
- 2 lb bag of frozen shrimp (Defrosted, Deveined with shells ON)
- 3 cups of grits (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 4 cups chicken broth (GF from Trader Joes)
- 5 cups water for grits
- 2 cups of water for shrimp stock (need shrimp shells for this)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 large (or 2 small) celery stalks
- 1 green pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1/4 tsp Cajun McCormick Perfect Pinch spice
- salt and pepper
- Fill your pot with the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling slowly stir in your 3 cups of grits and turn stovetop down to a very low simmer. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often, to avoid the grits burning to the bottom of the pan. They will become very thick.
- Make shrimp stock. To do this, remove the shells from your shrimp and rinse well. Then add the shells along with 2 cups of water to a small pot. Bring to boil and let cook for 15 minutes. Then strain the liquid into a bowl and throw out shells.
- To prep the shrimp coat them with ¼ tsp of cajun seasoning and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook 3 strips of bacon. Once done remove the bacon the dish leaving the reserved fat in the pan. Cut bacon into small pieces and put aside.
- Chop and mince your onion, garlic, celery, and green pepper. Add this to the reserved bacon fat and cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly soft. Add the shrimp and cook through about 5 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes, the shrimp stock, and the salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Finish the shrimp mixture off with your bacon bits.
- Now its time to finish the grits. Once the grits have been cooking for about 20 minutes add the milk, butter, mascarpone, and parmesan cheese. Mix well. Once all ingredients have been incorporated (your butter should be fully melted and the grits should now have a creamier consistency) then they are ready to be served. Note* You can add more milk or butter if the grits are still too thick for your liking
- Put a large scoop of grits in a pasta bowl and put a heaping serving of the shrimp mixture on top.
- I hope you enjoy this celebratory dish as much as well all did!
Not all spices are gluten free. I did some research and found that McCormick's Perfect Pinch spices are all gluten free (Please note not of all of their products are). Also, not all Chicken broth is gluten free. I purchased mine from Trader Joes and they labeled which containers were specifically gluten free. I am still learning what is and is not inherantly gluten free so I err on the safe side. I bought bacon that was specifically labeled gluten free as well.