Shrimp and Smoked-Cheddar Grit Cakes

Country music group Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman shares her recipe for Cajun-style shrimp on cheesy grits.
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KSS_shrimpandgrits_h

Cook time: 23-25 min | Yield: 9 Servings

Ingredients

For the Grit Cakes:

  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 cup quick grits
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1/2 cup smoked cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken base
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

For the Shrimp:

  • 5 strips thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup creamed corn, canned
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 pound large shrimp, (16-20) shelled and deveined, tail on
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

For the Grit Cakes:

Lightly oil a 9-inch-square glass baking dish. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with the garlic. Slowly whisk in the grits over moderate heat until very thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the smoked cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the dish and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler to high.

Unmold the grits onto a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares. Brush with olive oil and broil until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.

For the Shrimp:

In a large sauté pan, render bacon until crispy. Remove bacon bits and set aside. Pour fat into bowl, leaving 2 tablespoons in pan. Add shallots and thyme. Cook shallots until translucent. about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, creamed corn, Cajun seasoning and thyme. Stir. Add the shrimp and cook for 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of grit cakes.