Since I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes, I had to try this one when I saw it: creamy, cheese-spiked grits topped with sauteed shrimp and asparagus. Yum! It’s easy to make, very tasty and can easily be doubled (this recipe serves 2-3).
I had trouble finding old-fashioned grits but found Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits/Polenta which worked great. I did a little research on grits and from what I can tell, grits are white and ground finer than yellow-colored polenta. Both are made from different parts of the corn kernel. It probably depends on where you live as to which product is easier to find.
I didn’t have extra sharp cheddar for the grits so I used 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/2 cup smoked cheddar. The smoked cheddar gave the grits a slight smoky flavor…mmm, so good!
Shrimp and Asparagus with Cheddar Grits
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine
This dish is a quick riff on the Southern classic Shrimp and Grits. Don’t skimp on the Worcestershire; mellowed with butter, it makes a simple yet savory sauce for the shrimp and asparagus. For best flavor, use wild-caught shrimp.
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2-1/3 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup old-fashioned (not quick-cooking) grits
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1/2 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce; more to taste
1/2 lb. medium-thick asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced
Heat 1/2 Tbs. of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. While stirring constantly, pour in the grits and 1/4 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the Cheddar and 1/4 tsp. of the hot sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more hot sauce. Cover and set aside in a warm spot.
Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and a little browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is opaque and the asparagus is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the Worcestershire sauce and the remaining 1/4 tsp. hot sauce. Melt the remaining 2-1/2 Tbs. butter into the shrimp and asparagus. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more hot sauce. Serve the shrimp and asparagus over the grits, sprinkled with the scallions.
Preparing asparagus for cooking: grasp each stalk at either end and snap. The stalk will break naturally at the point where it starts to get tough and stringy. For a cleaner look and less waste, you can cut off the tough bottoms with a knife.