Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Grits

Author: Don Miller


Most 'foodies' associate Shrimp and Grits with the Lowcountry and with Charleston, SC in particular—the way Gumbo is New Orleans’ calling card. Until the mid-1980s, however, you’d never hear the phrase “Shrimp and Grits” uttered by a native Charlestonian, even though you might eat something that resembled it. The reason for this—until the late 1980s (when an ambitious cadre of restaurants emerged in Charleston and changed the lexicon of the dish). Prior to that, Charleston home cooks referred to cooked grits as "hominy." 

The recipe below serves four, is easy to prepare by the novice cook, can be made in a very short amount of time, and is relatively inexpensive to make at home. 

Ingredients Procedure
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup instant grits
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ lbs. medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon plus 4 lemon wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian Parsley, chopped
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered.
  2. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter.
  5. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover to keep warm.
  7. Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  8. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.