Tomorrow, May 10, is National Shrimp Day, and so we celebrate boiled shrimp, grilled shrimp, broiled shrimp, barbecue shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp sandwich – okay, Bubba, we get it.
Living in the South, seafood, particularly shrimp, is a staple on my grocery list, like many of yours. There is usually shrimp on the menu once a week, primarily broiled with lemon and butter alongside a filet of salmon (one of my favorite meals).
However, my most requested shrimp dish is Shrimp and Grits casserole, a cheesy Cajun concoction passed on to me by my friend Celeste Wilson of DeSoto County. Over the years, I have tweaked this recipe to fit what is in my refrigerator at the time or personal tastes, and although similar to the original recipe, it is a little cheesier and a little spicier that before.
This is the very first dish I prepared for my now-husband, Keith, and it is still one of his very favorite. I serve it with green bean almandine and a baguette.
Shrimp and Grits Casserole
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
1 can Rotel tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup quick grits
2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
Cajun seasoning to taste
Sauté bell pepper, onion, and garlic in butter until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Stir in Rotel tomatoes. Remove from heat.
Boil chicken broth. Stir in grits. Bring to a boil stirring often. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese and 1 cup pepper jack. Stir until melted.
Combine shrimp mixture and grits mixture. Pour into a large casserole and top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
Cook at 350 about 30 minutes until bubbly.
If you haven’t had the Shrimp Etouffee’ at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans you are missing out. It has the richest, most buttery roux you will ever have – hands down.
As much as I love Shrimp Etouffee, I am not the best at cooking Shrimp Etouffee. I always seem to scorch the roux. So if you are preparing this dish, pay very careful attention when making the roux. There is a fine line between done and scorched.
But I am still trying, and one day, I will have my roux as perfect as Acme. Well, maybe not. A trip to New Orleans might be more fun.
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup sliced celery
½ cup chopped green peppers
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 cup chicken broth, low sodium
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp. hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped scallions (green onions)
2 tablespoon fresh parsley
2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
2½ cups brown rice (I used instant)
Season shrimp with about a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, cook until melted; add the flour, whisking constantly until dark brown (color of peanut butter), about 10 minutes.
Add the onion, celery and peppers to the roux and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute.
Whisk in the broth, add the tomatoes, Cajun seasoning and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook until cooked, about 5 minutes.
Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the butter, lemon juice, green onion and parsley.
To make rice:
Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Stir in rice, bring to a bowl, lower heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. (I started the rice when the Shrimp Etouffee was simmering for 20 minutes)
Evenly divide rice and Shrimp Etouffee between 6 bowls.
When I entertain, I always make sure there is one seafood dish on the menu. That is something I learned from my Momma, and as tradition goes, I’ve followed suit.
I stumbled upon this Hot Louisiana Shrimp Dip while preparing for my annual Christmas party, and sweet lord, it is fantastic. I believe it would be a wonderful vehicle for pasta as well, but served on a toasted baguette chip, it is just addicting.
I also brought it to a Super Bowl Party, and it didn’t last until half time. Yes, it is that good.
Hot Louisiana Shrimp Dip
3 green onions
1 red bell pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and cleaned)
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup cream cheese
3 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Chop the spring onion and red capsicum into small dice/rings. Reserve the green part of the spring onion for later.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the vegetables to the butter, stir to coat and then cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened.
Chop the shrimp meat into small chunks. Either in half or thirds if your shrimp are jumbo.
Add in the prawns and garlic, stir well and cook for 2 minutes until the prawns have turned pink.
Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream and creole seasoning.
Bring to a simmer and then cook for 2 minutes until everything is thick and creamy.
Stir in the lemon juice and parsley then check the seasoning.
Serve garnished with the reserved spring onion greens and a little extra parsley.