In my house growing up, any dish that had shrimp in it was always the first to go. My grandpa used to make gumbo and we would fight over the shrimp until the pot was just sauce and some andouille sausage left, and I have pretty distinct memories of the eight of us demolishing a Costco party-size shrimp cocktail platter in under 10 minutes. We LOVE shrimp. But the other day was one of those rare occasions where no one was home, so I actually got to share a meal with my parents, and do you know what I made? Well I mean, besides the fact that you can see from the title, you can bet that I made shrimp. I jump back and forth on what my favorite way to eat shrimp is, although, there really is no wrong way. But when it’s chilly outside and you’re in the mood for something hearty and cozy, look no further than this recipe. Adapted from this one found in the New York Times, this dish has essentially everything you need- cheesy goodness, a rich, creamy tomato sauce that you can sop up with a toasty piece of bread, and SO much shrimp. Need I say more??
As an exciting, random sidebar, here’s a fun story! Approximately 2.5 years ago while studying abroad in Florence, I was traveling to Dublin to see my roommate, and it was my first time flying by myself. I’m naturally a nervous traveler/ flyer, so I really needed things to go smoothly, which of course, they DIDN’T. My flight was delayed 8 HOURS, and upon seeing me approach mental breakdown, two women from Ireland welcomed me to eat lunch with them and to wait out the delay with them. Flash forward to now, we have remained in contact this whole time, and they’re COMING TO NEW YORK!! For their first time ever!! And I get to see them!! What do you make for dinner when very important Irish guests are coming? Really who knows.
BUT back to the point of this post, this meal right here is just waiting to be made by you, so let’s get to it!!
Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: ~1 hour
¾ cup grits
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tbs salted butter
1. Bring 3½ cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, and add in the grits and salt. Turn the heat down to low and cover, cooking for 15-20 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed and the grits are tender.
2. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter and cheese until fully combined. Cover and keep warm until serving.
4 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil (I like a mix of butter and olive oil for this)
2 onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz. can of diced tomatoes (and the juice)
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
3 tbs flour
1½ lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ to 1 cup chicken stock (or seafood stock if you’ve got it)
2 tbs tomato paste
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco, several dashes (to taste)
Salt, to taste
Parsley, for garnish
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add the garlic, peppers, and onion. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the Old Bay and bring the whole thing to a simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes.
2. Sprinkle in the flour and mix to combine. Add in the shrimp and stir constantly as they cook; it should be about 3 minutes, shrimp cook so fast!
3. Add the first ½ cup of stock and let it simmer, then add in the tomato paste and make sure it gets properly mixed in. Stir in the cream, Worcestershire (I will literally never spell this right on the first try), and tabasco, plus more stock as needed to make the sauce thick enough to coat the shrimp but thin enough that it’s spoonable.
4. Heat through entirely (without bringing to a boil), and adjust your seasonings as necessary.
Serve with a generous helping of grits, a sprinkling of parsley, and a toasty piece of bread!