Shrimp and Grits is a traditional dish that hails from coastal South Carolina and Georgia. My Creole Shrimp and Grits goes a little more south to Louisiana. It’s served with lots of plump, juicy shrimp smothered in a well seasoned and lightly spiced sauce with fresh tomatoes and corn poured over cheesy grits. Southern comfort food with a nice, fresh twist.
Ever wonder what the difference between Creole and Cajun is? Well I did and after reading up on the terms it all boils down to this.
Cajun is a word used to describe the French colonists who moved from the Acadia region of Canada down to Louisiana after the British conquest of Acadia (know today as present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) in the 1700s.
Creole is a term used to describe the people who were born to these new settlers in French colonial Louisiana, especially New Orleans.
As for the cuisine term for these, Jay D. Ducote wrote in the Louisiana Travel:
A vastly simplified way to describe the two cuisines is to deem Creole cuisine as “city food” while Cajun cuisine is often referred to as “country food.” While many of the ingredients in Cajun and Creole dishes are similar, the real difference between the two styles is the people behind these famous cuisines.
If you’re a regular reader here you know I make lots of spice blends (see my Pantry for more) and for this one it’s no different. If you’d like to make your own Creole Seasoning with less salt than store bought try my version here, Creole Seasoning Spice Blend.
BUT, back to this dish… I opted to citify my shrimp and grits with a bounty of fresh tomatoes and corn I had on hand.
For the grits I add cheddar cheese and creamed corn to bump them up a notch in flavor and texture. I love the cheesy flavor and the bits and pieces of corn from the creamed corn add so much to the delicious grits.
It bears repeating that this is a well seasoned sauce, not a spicy one. While it does have a little kick of heat, it’s the flavors that all come together to make this a memorable dish.
The sauce uses a spice blend of Creole standards, and to keep it easy, you can use the ready made Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning that can be found in most supermarkets in the spice aisle. Basically it’s made of a blend of paprika, garlic and onion powders, with cayenne and thyme to name a few ingredients. I also added smoked paprika for the sauce. It adds a lovely touch. If you’d like to make your own Creole Seasoning with less salt than store bought try my version here, Creole Seasoning Spice Blend.
For other Southern styled food, try my Root Beer Glazed Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Cheese Grits and Ham. For other shrimp dishes, try my Asian Noodle Salad, Mango Shrimp Stuffed Avocado, or this Shrimp Saltimbocca. Enjoy!
Creole Shrimp and Grits
- 1 lb raw large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Creole Seasoning such as mine
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
- 8 oz. corn kernels
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- parsley to garnish chopped
- 4 cups stock or water
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 cup grits
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 8 oz creamed corn
- Add 1 cup grits to 4 cups heavily salted chicken stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally so as not to stick. Remove from heat and add the cheese and creamed corn. Stir to mix thoroughly and cover. Set aside.
- Combine shrimp, Creole seasoning, paprika, and pepper in a bowl and mix to coat. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil and butter and cook until butter melts. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, celery salt and green onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine; cook, stirring and scraping pan to loosen browned bits, 30 seconds. Add corn kernels and stir.
- Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Mix the cornstarch and water and add to pan. Stir over medium heat until thickened. Add Shrimp back to the pan, stirring to coat.
- Spoon shrimp mixture over creamed corn, cheese grits. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.