Street Corn Shrimp and Grits
Street Corn Shrimp and Grits- Smoked gouda grits, grilled shrimp and corn, plus a street corn sauce make up this heavenly bowl of summer comfort food.
June 17, 2022 by Nicole Collins
My eating habits completely change with the seasons.
We’ve probably talked about this here before.
And, I know I’m not the only one.
I do significantly less actually cooking this time of year. I could go on and on about all the things I love about summertime. But at the top of the list is surely all the fresh produce.
And we all know that I prefer my produce raw, so my summer meals are typically just throw together veggies and bread.
Because, let’s be honest. There’s never a season where carbs are not the right answer.
But sometimes, even in the heat of the summer, I want a comforting, stick to your ribs kind of meal. But, I want it with the light and fresh flavors of summer.
And, today’s recipe checks every one of those boxes.
Today, we’re making Street Corn Shrimp and Grits!
Street corn aka elote has become super trendy the past couple of years. It’s basically grilled corn slathered with a layer of mayo/crema then topped with chili powder, lime, cilantro, and a salty/crumbly cheese like cotija or feta. Well, we’re going to take the idea of those basic flavors and transform them into the most delicious bowl of smoked gouda grits, grilled shrimp and corn, and street corn sauce.
Let’s build this bowl from the bottom up, shall we?
We’ll start with the grits. You’ve seen so many different variations of grits here on The Yummy Muffin, but two things are consistent: I only use quick cooking grits, and there MUST be cheese. Those non-negotiables are pretty easy to deal with though, right?? Well, the grits for today’s recipe are no different. We’re going to start with some milk, water, and garlic powder. We’ll let those come to a boil, whisk in our grits, then let them cook for 5 minutes. That’s it! Once they come off the heat, we’ll whisk in some butter, a big ol’ heap of smoked gouda, and some salt and pepper. And, that’s all there is to it. Bottom layer, complete!
Now while the milk and water are coming to temperature, we’re going to practice our multitasking skills. We can have our grill going for our corn and shrimp. The corn takes about 10-12 mins, so that can go on the grill first. Brush it with a light layer of oil, pop in right on the grill, and turn it every couple of minutes once you start to see char marks. Easy breezy.
For our shrimp, we’re going to season them in a super simple spice mix of chili lime seasoning, garlic powder, and cumin. Toss them with some oil, thread them on some skewers (optional, but makes life a little easier), and pop them on the grill for 6-8 minutes. They can be grilling right next to the corn, because we’re going to cook them over the same heat level. And hot tip, this works on an outdoor or indoor grill. (I actually used my indoor electric grill, because someone hasn’t refilled her propane tank since the beginning of the pandemic.) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
For our final layer, we going to make a super simple street corn sauce. It’s as simple as mixing some sour cream, some mayonnaise, a little more chile lime seasoining, and a splash of water together until it’s a drizzling consistency. We’re basically mimicking all the flavors you’d find schmeared all over that corn just without the corn! You can actually make this sauce before you start anything else and let it hang in the fridge while you finish the rest of the components. That way, the flavors can start to marry together so the sauce is at its finest once you’re ready for it.
When it’s time to assemble, we’ll fill our bowl with those creamy, smoky grits. Then, we’ll sprinkle over our grilled corn kernels that we’ve taken off the cob. We’ll top that with our succulent grilled shrimp. We’ll give the whole thing a drizzle of that tangy street corn sauce. Finish with some chopped cilantro for extra pizazz. And, it’s time to eat!
I feel like we need to create a new category called summer comfort food. And, this recipe would be right at the top of that list. It’s rich, creamy, and a little bit stick to your ribs from those cheesy grits. But, it’s light and fresh thanks to the pops of corn kernels and zip of lime that’s in the chile lime seasoning. Then, you have the charred bits from the grill on the shrimp and corn adding a fresh kind of smoke that compliments the hickory smoked flavor of the cheese. And, that creamy drizzle on sauce gives you that summer street fair vibe without out all the mess of actual elote.
This bowl of food is SUCH A WINNER!
What else would you put on your “summer comfort food” list? I really think we need to make this a thing!
In the meantime, please enjoy. And, let’s eat!
Street Corn Shrimp and Grits
Serves: 2 Print
For the Street Corn Sauce:
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sour cream (I used low fat)
¼ tsp chile lime seasoning, like tajin
½-1 tsp water
1 tsp avocado oil
1 corn cob, husk removed
For the Shrimp:
½ lb extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)
½ tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp chile lime seasoning, like tajin
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
For the Grits:
1 cup water
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ cup quick cooking grits
1 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup smoked gouda, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
minced cilantro, for garnish
Make the street corn sauce: To a small mixing bowl, add mayo, sour cream, and ¼ tsp tajin. Add ½ tsp water, and mix until the sauce is a drizzling consistency. Add more water, if necessary. Set aside in the fridge.
Grill the corn: Preheat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium high heat. Brush corn all over with 1 tsp avocado oil. Place on the grill, and grill for 10-12 mins, turning often, until the corn starts to develop char marks. Once grilled, use a knife to cut the corn kernels off the cob, and set aside.
Meanwhile, grill the shrimp: To a mixing bowl, add shrimp, ½ tbsp avocado oil, ½ tsp tajin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and cumin. Toss well to coat the shrimp. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, and grill next to the corn over medium high heat for 2-4 mins per side until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Set aside.
Make the grits: Bring water, milk, and ½ tsp 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 minutes, 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, and adjust as necessary.
To serve, spoon grits into 2 bowls. Top each with corn kernels, grilled shrimp, and a drizzle of street corn sauce. Garnish with minced cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.
*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.
*This recipe relies on time management. You can have the grits, corn, and shrimp all cooking at the same time. Put the corn on the grill while the liquid for the grits is coming to a boil. Then, put the shrimp on the grill right before you whisk the grits into the liquid. That will have everything finish cooking at right about the same time. It feels like a lot going on, but it really is simple since the shrimp and corn are cooking in the same place right next to each other.
*If you’re using wooden skewers for the shrimp, soak the skewers in water for 30 mins first so they don’t burn on the grill. If you’re using metal skewers, you can just load the shrimp up and go.