French-ified Shrimp and Grits

To my North Carolinian in-laws: proceed with caution–a Northerner is attempting/messing with one of your classic dishes. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

When my father-in-law first discovered that I loved to cook he would often say that he would love to see me “make a grit.” Now, I had eaten grits before and enjoyed them with some butter and maybe a little salt but had never tried to make them.  With this subtle encouragement (challenge?) to give it a try I purchased some mighty fancy grits made in Charleston, SC and got to work.

You don't actually need fancy grits like this.  But I was in a Whole Foods-esque store and this was all they had.

You don’t actually need fancy grits like this. But I was in a Whole Foods-esque store and this was all they had.

I didn’t dare try to completely copy the classic (yet) so I started with a favorite grilled herb shrimp recipe I already knew well (follow link to see it) and decided to give it a try with some cheesy parmesan grits.  It turned out deliciously! I highly recommend giving this combo a try and the grits recipe is flexible.  Leave out the cheese for plain, add a different cheese for a new take or add fresh green onion for a little more kick.

While I do not think I would ever attempt to serve this to my husband’s family since they have already perfected a method and recipe (it’s the same reason I avoid serving rice when an Iranian friend visits for dinner),  it’s an interesting take on an old classic that I think they’d (and you’ll) enjoy.


And why am I calling it french-ified?  I don’t know.  I guess the shrimp prep with all the fresh herbs and dijon mustard makes me think “French.” Don’t ask too many questions.

French-ified Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients (for grits only, serves 4): 

  • 1 cup of quick cooking grits (do NOT get instant)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan (or other cheese.  Parm works well with the flavors of the shrimp)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Some pepper


  1. A few hours before the meal, create the marinade for the shrimp and get them going.
  2. (Optional) Rinse your grits.  Put the grits in a bowl and cover with water. With a spoon, remove any little bits that float to the top.  Drain off water.
  3. Bring 4 cups of water and salt to a boil
  4. Add grits in a steady stream, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes until they thicken a bit.
  6. Add heavy cream and butter and stir.  Start grilling the shrimp about now.
  7. Cover the pot and stir grits occasionally for about 20-30 minutes until thickened and cooked. (I do a taste test–they should be smooth and creamy)
  8. Off the heat, stir in cheese and pepper.  Taste at this point and adjust salt if necessary, finish with some fresh cracked pepper.



Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Meat, Pasta, Recipes, Techniques


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


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2 Comments on “French-ified Shrimp and Grits”

  1. May 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Yum! I like the French-ified idea- sort of like New Orleans style

  2. One of the in-laws
    May 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Havarti cheese is good too. The true southern long cooking grits (like the ones you used) are much better than any Quaker type.

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