Cajun Seasoning - Cajun Shrimp and Cheddar Grits
A southern classic for a reason. A dish that combines land and sea in a truly wonderful pairing. What is interesting is the origins of this now staple in the south. Corn is the basic ingredient in grits. Also known as maize it was cultivated by the Native Americans who were already eating it soft as hominy. When the first settlers in the 17th century arrived the Native Americans shared their hominy with them. Corn soon after became part of the settlers regular diet. As grits became more and more popular they soon moved to the south where fishermen would add shrimp to their grits for breakfast. And there you have it a simple dish that now has deep history and rich origins.
The shrimp and grits that we know today or rather the many versions in existence are nowhere near its humble beginnings. However, food is subjective, evolves and reinvents. In Louisiana, no longer is shrimp and grits a simple dish but a star. Influenced by creole/cajun flavors the shrimp is spicy, peppery and sweet in contrast to the creamy buttery grits. A case of two opposites that work well together!
Cajun Shrimp And Cheddar Grits
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
1 cup grits (we used Bob Red Mill)
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cups shredded cheddar
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white onion, small dice
1/2 cup bell pepper, small dice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
1 lb peeled, deveined, tail on & uncooked medium shrimp
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder + 1/4 cup cold chicken stock (combine to make a slurry)
1 tablespoon One Good Knife Cajun Seasoning
Salt to taste
Scallions green part sliced for garnish (not pictured, optional)
In a medium pot bring the water with1 teaspoon salt to boil on medium heat.
Gently add the grits while stirring to ensure they do not clump.
Drop the heat to low. Stir occasionally to avoid lumps and grits from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Cook for about 5 mins. The grits should look creamy and soft with all liquid absorbed.
Set aside off the heat and covered for 2 mins.
Stir in the pepper, ricotta, cheddar and butter before serving.
To cook the shrimp, melt the butter large sauce pan on medium heat.
Once melted add in the onion, bell pepper and celery. Sauté till soft and translucent.
Add in the shrimp and sauté for about 1 min.
Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon of salt and One Good Knife Cajun Seasoning. Sauté for 30 seconds while stirring.
Add in the chicken stock and cook for 3 mins.
Gently drizzle in the slurry while stirring to ensure no lumps form.
Cook for about 3 mins till the sauce is thickened.
Check seasonings before serving.
Place grits on the bottom of the plate and serve the shrimp in the center.
Sprinkle with scallions for garnish (not pictured)