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New Orleans shrimp and grits is a Creole dish with a rich, flavorful sauce. Make this recipe tonight for a taste of classic Louisiana cooking!
Cajun vs Creole
Are you curious about the difference between Cajun and Creole? Some quick research on my part revealed interesting facts:
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 in the 1700s. (Present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia)
Creole is a term used to describe the people who were born in New Orleans with French and Spanish ancestry to those who descended from an African, Caribbean, French, or Spanish heritage.
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.
New Orleans Shrimp and Grits
New Orleans shrimp and grits features a light sauce made with flavorful seasonings, with tomatoes and corn poured over cheesy grits.
The sauce is well seasoned but not spicy. While it does have a little kick of heat, it’s the flavors that all come together to make the dish memorable.
If you’re a regular reader here you know I use homemade spice blends, and for this one it’s no different. To reduce the sodium found in many store bought spice blends, you can make your own Creole seasoning spice blend.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the Creole Shrimp
- Large shrimp
- Garlic – Fresh cloves offer the best flavor, but pre-minced from a jar works too
- Grape tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes have a similar flavor but they also have more seeds.
- Green onions (scallions)
- Corn kernels – fresh or frozen
- Dry white wine – The alcohol will cook off, but if desired, you can use vegetable broth or seafood stock instead.
- Creole seasoning
- Smoked paprika– There are two types of paprika, sweet and smoked. The sweet variety is also known as Hungarian paprika
Creamed Corn Grits
Grits are a staple in southern cooking, similar in texture to Cream of Wheat, but made from corn. The neutral flavor makes it extremely versatile – it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Adding shredded cheddar cheese to make cheesy grits is a popular way to enjoy them. They’re my favorite part of this Creole shrimp and grits recipe.
- Water – To give your grits a richer flavor, use vegetable or chicken stock or broth
- Shredded cheddar cheese – For good meltability, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses are packaged with an anti-caking agent that prevents them from melting well
- Creamed corn – from a can, or use homemade creamed corn.
Video: Making Creole Shrimp and Grits
Scroll down to the recipe card and you can watch as I show you how to make this fantastic Creole dish!
- Preparing the shrimp
Cleaning raw shrimp is simple to do, but also an essential step for making New Orleans shrimp and grits. While eating the vein is harmless, it is not appetizing to look at, especially in large shrimp.
Removing the shells from shrimp allows the meat to soak up more flavors. Plus, it’s easier to eat them without the shell.
- Use freshly shredded cheese – Buy blocks of cheese and shred them yourself.
Bags of pre-shredded cheese include a preservative to prevent the shreds from clumping together. Unfortunately, it also prevents the cheese from melting properly.
Shrimp and Grits Recipe
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 cup green onions sliced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
- 8 oz corn kernels
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- parsley chopped, for garnish
- 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.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.