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Creamy Tomato Shrimp and Fontina Grits

Creamy Garlic and Tomato Shrimp and Fontina Grits


Ingredients

For the shrimp

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined SEE NOTE BELOW
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the grits

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarse grits, or quick-grits (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • pinch of baking powder (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded fontina cheese (can use cheddar)

Instructions

For the grits

  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring the broth (or water, if using), heavy cream, butter, onion powder, garlic powder, herbes de provence, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, pinch of salt (you’ll add more later), and olive oil to a boil over high heat. If using coarse grits, add a super tiny pinch of baking powder. If using quick-grits, don’t add the baking powder. Whisk until combined, and immediately add the grits. Reduce heat to low, and whisk for 1 full minute. Cover and allow them to cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy and tender — about 10-15 minutes. If your grits need another tiny splash of cream, add it. Taste them and adjust the salt levels to your liking. Add a little more seasoning if needed. Once they’re perfect, turn the heat off and stir in the cheese. Cover and set aside.

For the shrimp:

  1. Meanwhile, in a medium-skillet, melt the butter over medium-heat. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, and herbes de provence. When the butter is hot and foamy, but not browning at all, add the diced sweet red pepper and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, and add the olive oil. Add the tomato paste, and cook until it deepens in color just slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and scrape any bits that might have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Allow the broth to reduce for about 30 seconds, then pour in the heavy cream. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes. If the mixture is getting too thick (and it shouldn’t be thick at all), add more broth to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit. Once it’s perfect, reduce the heat to low and add the raw shrimp. Allow the shrimp to poach until it’s pink and fully cooked, which will depend on the size shrimp you use. Once the shrimp turns pink on all sides, turn off the heat. Freshen it up with lemon juice. Plate your creamy grits and pour the shrimp mixture on top. Garnish with fresh thyme, fresh basil, and maybe another squeeze of lemon juice.
  2. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Notes

If using smaller shrimp, adjust poaching time accordingly.

Baking powder helps soften the outer husk of the coarse grits/polenta (which are usually yellow), which helps it cook a LOT faster. If using quick-grits (they’re usually white), you won’t need to add the baking powder.

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