I love French cooking and was in need of a good spicy dish for dinner. I decided to go South and cook up some Cajun food, which is heavily French influenced, and went for some good old shrimp and grits. In this recipe I decided to keep it light and added no heavy cream or tomatoes to the sauce and made my quick and easy shrimp stock to add some extra flavor. The addition of my version of Prudhomme’s Seafood Seasoning added the bite I was looking for and poured over cheesy grits made for a perfect meal.
To keep with tradition I started with the Holy Trinity as my flavor base. In the case of Cajun cooking the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking is made up of onion, celery, and bell pepper. This combination is the base of most savory Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines. In traditional French cooking it’s called a mirepoix. A mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwah) is a French term meaning a combination of chopped carrots, celery and onions used to add flavor and aroma to stocks, sauces, soups and other foods. These are considered your base aromatics. With the added flavor of a shrimp stock made from the bones of the cleaned and deveined shrimp this made for a delicious and perfect dinner.
Cajun Shrimp and Grits
- 1 lb raw shrimp
- 1/2 each yellow orange and green bell peppers
- 1 medium onion
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 large shallot
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp butter separated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup shrimp stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp Prudhomme’s Seafood Seasoning
- 3 cups cooked cheese grits
- Shell and devein the shrimp, rinse under cold water to clean and set aside.
- Keep the shrimp shells and place in a small pot and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to low. Reduce by half. Watch this as it may boil over. Discard shrimp "bones" and set 1 cup of shrimp stock aside.
- In a large sauté pan add the butter and olive oil, on medium heat sauté the crushed garlic and diced shallots.
- Add the diced Holy Trinity of onion, bell peppers and celery. Sauté for several minutes and add shrimp stock. Allow to reduce and thicken slightly.
- Toss the raw shrimp with the seafood seasoning and add to vegetables. Cook quickly until each side is pink, remove from heat add remaining two tablespoons of butter, swirl to incorporate and serve with parsley garnish over cheesy grits.