This easy shrimp and grits recipe uses heritage Jimmy Red Corn Grits for amazing flavor. Do NOT use instant grits, they taste like wallpaper paste and give grits a bad name! We firmly believe that you don't need to be a better cook, you just need better ingredients! With elevated ingredients you'll make an elevated dish and you won't need to work all that hard for it either.
Place the water and grits in a very thick bottom pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and stir constantly with a silicone spatula until the grits thicken (1-2 minutes).
Remove the grits from the stove, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. (don't skip this step)
Uncover the grits, add bayleaf and cook on very low heat, stirring often, until very soft and tender, 1-2 hours. Begin tasting at 45 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water towards the end if the grits are not soft enough but the water has absorbed and evaporated, but it should be thick at this point.
Turn off heat, discard the bayleaf, stir in 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter and Cheese. Stir until fully incorporated and melted in. If the grits are too thick you can add a spash of heavy cream or a bit more butter. (yes, we know, this isn't a health dish). Add salt and pepper to taste.
For The Shrimp:
Sauté minced garlic and shallot in a pan with oil. Add Red Clay, Worcestershire, and half of the fennel. Simmer.
Whisk in 3 Tablespoons butter that has been cubed until fully incorporated, remove sauce from pan and set aside.
Add more olive oil to the pan and saute the bell pepper for 1-2 minutes until soft, add the shrimp into a pan, pour the reserved sauce over top and saute until the shrimp is just cooked through (2-3 minutes)
Add generous heaps of grits to each plate making a little well in the center with the back of your spoon. Place the shrimp in the well, pour the sauce over the entire dish and garnish with remaining fennel.
This very simple dish lets the flavor of these amazing heirloom field peas shine. Steeped in history, Sea Island Red Peas are a more flavorful and diminutive cousin to black eyed peas and are grown only on the Carolina Sea Islands.