Tuscan Shrimp and Grits

August 23, 2020 by Nicole Collins

Chef's kiss.

Today's recipe is so incredibly, amazingly everything; that I don't know what else to say other than “chef's kiss”.

You know what I'm talking about. When something is just too good for words that the only way to describe it is to kiss your fingers like you're Italian, throw them in the air, and give the dish your loving seal of approval.

I mean, I want to tell you about today's recipe so badly that I don't even have a story to tell you today. I can't think of anything but this comforting bowl of deliciousness.

But, since I don't want to let you guys down by depriving you of your daily dose of anecdotal joy, here's the best that I can do today.. There once was a girl from Nantucket. She kept all her gold in a bucket. She went to the beach with her gold out of reach. And now, she's lost all of her luck (it).

That story could've ended a much different way, but we're keeping it classy over here. ;-) And, though that short story won't be winning any awards any time soon, today's recipe just might. Today, we're making Tuscan Shrimp and Grits!

All you need to know is that this recipe is a warm hug in a bowl. Well, you need to know how to make it too. But, we're getting there. Let's start with the shrimp. We start by sauteing some shrimp in a little bit of the oil from a jar of sun dried tomatoes. Sun dried tomatoes are so rich in flavor, and using the oil is the best way to add a ton of flavor without any extra ingredients.

After the shrimp are cooked, we're going to put them to the side and get working on our creamy, dreamy sauce. We've got garlic. We've got shallot. We've got sun dried tomatoes. We've got spinach, and cream, and white wine, and parmesan cheese. Basically, we've got everything that's everything going in this sauce. Let everything simmer until it starts to thicken up a bit, add the shrimp in to swim in all of that glorious sauce, and it's all ready to go on its bed of grits.

You guys know that I'm going through a grits phase right now, and these are just the latest and greatest in my repertoire. Quick cooking grits simmer in a pot of garlic seasoned milk and water, then finished with some butter and a big old scoop of freshly shredded parmesan cheese. I highly recommend buying a wedge of parm and shredding it yourself instead of buying the pre-shredded stuff. The freshly shredded parm melts a thousand times better, and the flavor just can't be beat.

Once the grits are ready, all that's left to do is assemble. It's as simple as scooping your grits into a bowl, and topping them with our creamy shrimp and sauce. And let me tell you, you may need a moment to yourself after you take your first bite of this shrimp and grits together. Because, this is “eyes rolling in the back of your head” deliciousness.

The flavors in this dish are out of this world. They’re rich, and creamy, and a little tangy and herbaceous thanks to those sun dried tomatoes. Remember when I said this meal was a hug in a bowl? Actually, it's a hug while you're snuggled in an oversized sweatshirt and wrapped in a weighted blankie kind of hug in a bowl. SOOOOOOOO comforting! Now, this meal is admittedly a little on the heavy side. But sometimes, you just have to go big or go home, right? Serve a little fresh salad on the side, and the world is back in balance.

Ok, guys. Now I'm 1000% even more distracted than when we started today, because now I need a big ol' bowl of these shrimp and grits...STAT! So in the meantime, enjoy! And, let's eat!

Tuscan Shrimp and Grits

Serves: 4 Print

Ingredients:

For the Tuscan Shrimp:

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)

  • ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ tsp pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped + 1 tbsp oil from the jar

  • 2 heaping cups baby spinach

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

For the Grits:

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)

  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder

  • 1 cup quick cooking grits

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the Tuscan Shrimp: Heat 1 tbsp sun dried tomato oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper; and toss to coat. Cook shrimp for about 2-3 mins per side until the shrimp are fully cooked through and opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate, but leave the drippings in the pan.

  2. Reduce heat to medium, and add butter, garlic, and shallot to the skillet. Saute for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has mostly reduced but the shallots are still a little saucy, about 5-6 minutes. Add sun dried tomatoes and spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Add heavy cream, ½ cup parmesan, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp back to the pan, toss to coat, and cook for another 1-2 mins. Remove from heat.

  3. Meanwhile, make the Grits: Bring water, milk, and garlic powder to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Slowly add grits while whisking. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed, whisking every 1-2 minutes. Remove grits from heat. Add butter, cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until cheese and butter are melted and fully combined. Taste for seasoning.

  4. To serve, spoon grits into 4 bowls, and top with Tuscan shrimp and sauce. Serve immediately.

Recipe notes:

*Take note that there are different kinds of grits: stone ground, instant, quick cooking, etc. They all have different cook times. This recipe uses quick cooking.

*I recommend shredding the parmesan yourself from a wedge. It melts much better than the pre-bagged stuff.

*This meal is all about time management, since both the sauce and the grits require stirring and attention. Start heating the liquid for your grits when you start cooking the shrimp. It will take a little time to heat all of that liquid, and it almost works out perfectly that the grits and sauce do their thing at the exact same time.

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