Chef's CornerDesiree Brassert

Shrimp and Grits

Chef's Corner logoYears ago, I learned that Italian polenta is a finer version of those exact little “grits” so beloved in the US south. Here to satisfy those soul food cravings, this is comfort food at its best. The topping is extremely versatile so you can use your favorite proteins, sauces, or leftovers…
Serves 6

Shrimp and grits For the shrimp and gravy

  • 1/2 kilo (one pound) medium to large shrimp, peeled, and deveined. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 cup of tomato puree
  • A couple drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme and parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using your favorite frying pan, fry garlic in olive oil, add dried tomatoes, herbs, and finally tomato puree.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and brown sugar.
  3. Allow to thicken before adding shrimp.
  4. Stir-fry for no more than 5 minutes and remove the entire pan to keep warm.

For the grits

Instant polenta/grits cook very fast and require plenty of water and stirring to achieve a creamy consistency. Follow package directions for 6 portions, no need for too much butter, season well with salt and pepper (optional) and only add the cheese at the very end. Shredded cheddar or Parmesan are some favorites.


Creamy, cheesy grits at the bottom of a deep dish, shrimp and gravy on top.

Topping options

Bacon bits, sliced smoked sausage, chopped green onions, chopped parsley, chopped spicy peppers, shaved cheese

Shrimp and grits on a stickAppetizer or brunch buffet idea

  1. Shape the cooled polenta into squares.
  2. Bake for 15 min. at 350F on both sides until solid.
  3. Skewer with a shrimp.
  4. Add sauce and cheese on top making Shrimp and Grits on a Stick!