Shrimp and Grits, originally served as a breakfast for Coastal Carolina Fisherman, has become a quintessential Southern dish. Inevitably, many different variations of Shrimp and Grits have evolved. This recipe incorporates one of my all-time favorite ingredients – sweet potatoes.
They turn the grits a brilliant orange color and also lend a slight sweetness, but their flavor in the dish is subtle. You’ll want the shrimp to be nice and spicy to complement the sweet potato grits, so add as much Cajun seasoning and Sriracha sauce as you can bear. I love the substitution of an Asian condiment, Sriracha, for the typical Tabasco sauce used in Shrimp and Grits.
Making the mashed sweet potatoes is really simple. Just bake a medium-sized sweet potato (the large ones tend to be fibrous) at 375 degrees for at least 45 minutes, until really soft. Scoop out pulp and mash well with a fork. Sweet potatoes have much more moisture than regular potatoes and they tend to ooze when they bake. If you don’t want a mess on the bottom of your oven, it’s best to bake them on either a pie plate or in a cake pan.
If you love cooking with sweet potatoes too here are a few more recipes:
Shrimp with Sweet Potato Grits
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup uncooked regular grits
- 6-8 slices bacon, diced
- 1 1/4 pounds large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped and whites and greens separated
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce
- 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Bring milk and 1 cup water to boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- While grits are cooking, cook bacon over medium-high heat in a large nonskillet. Once bacon is nicely browned and crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate using a slotted spoon.
- Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle shrimp with cajun seasoning.
- Remove all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet. Add shrimp and white parts of green onions. Saute 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat, until shrimp are almost pink. Add garlic, green parts of onion, and Sriracha sauce and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, until shrimp are done.
- Once grits are thickened, stir in sweet potato, gouda cheese, butter, salt, and ground pepper.
- To serve, place grits on a plate, top with shrimp and sprinkle with bacon and parsley.
Yield: 4 servings
Source: Adapted from Southern Living October 2012