Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits is a beloved Southern classic that encapsulates the heart and soul of Lowcountry cuisine. This dish combines tender shrimp with creamy stone-ground grits and a rich, flavorful sauce that’s infused with bacon, scallions, and aromatic seasonings. Whether you’re savoring it for breakfast, brunch, or a hearty dinner, Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits is a soul-warming and comforting dish that transports you to the historic and flavorful city of Charleston, South Carolina. Here’s how to make this iconic dish:
For the Shrimp and Sauce:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup scallions (green onions), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter
For the Grits:
1 cup stone-ground grits
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Prepare the Grits:
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt and gradually whisk in the stone-ground grits. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the grits are tender and creamy, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter and, if desired, the grated cheddar cheese. Cover to keep warm.
2. Sauté the Bacon and Scallions:
In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove some of the excess bacon fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the skillet. Add the chopped scallions and garlic and sauté until fragrant.
3. Cook the Shrimp:
Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the skillet with the scallions and bacon. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp turn pink and opaque. Remove the cooked shrimp from the skillet and set them aside.
4. Prepare the Sauce:
In the same skillet, add the chicken broth, heavy cream, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir in the butter.
5. Combine and Serve:
Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and gently combine them with the sauce. Serve the Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits over the creamy grits. Garnish with extra scallions or parsley if desired.
This dish is a delectable representation of Lowcountry cuisine, combining the best of Southern flavors with a touch of coastal elegance. Enjoy Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits for a truly comforting and satisfying meal.
Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits not only offers a delightful culinary experience but also several potential benefits:
Protein: Shrimp is a low-calorie, high-protein source, which is essential for muscle development, tissue repair, and overall body function.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Shrimp contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their potential heart-protective benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease.
Fiber from Stone-Ground Grits: Stone-ground grits retain more of the bran, making them a good source of dietary fiber, which supports healthy digestion and may help regulate blood sugar levels.
Vitamins and Minerals: Shrimp and grits provide essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, and selenium, which are important for overall health and well-being.
Calcium from Grits: Grits provide calcium for strong bones and teeth.
Flavorful Ingredients: The incorporation of scallions, bacon, and seasonings adds depth and richness to the dish, making it a delicious and satisfying meal.
Cultural Significance: Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits is a beloved Southern dish that carries cultural significance, allowing you to appreciate the culinary heritage of the Lowcountry.
Balanced Meal: This dish combines protein (shrimp), whole grains (grits), and flavorful sauce, offering a balanced and filling meal.
Comfort Food: Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits is the epitome of Southern comfort food, providing warmth and satisfaction.
While Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits offers these potential benefits, it’s important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to meet all your nutritional needs