All about a favorite, all about Shrimp and Grits.



Shrimp and Grits is a southern classic, but it can be enjoyed anywhere and has been enjoyed everywhere for a long time. It seems Shrimp and Grits is like gumbo in the sense that everyone makes it a bit different, there is no wrong way, but there are certain things you can do make it better. One of the best things you can do for your Shrimp and Grits is to plan your shrimp and grits. By this we mean plan your ingredients, plan your substitutes, know where your getting your ingredients, and plan your time to prepare the meal.

With a lot of recipes, we like to substitute butter for avocado oil. But this is not the case with shrimp and grits. Now to be clear, I am not against butter in any way as I understand the purpose it serves. But for some recipes I don’t feel the need for it and love using avocado oil thanks to its high smoke point. But when you take a closer look, you can see the foundation butter provides in a meal. Butter melts quickly and when it does this it releases an array of flavor that tends to be more prominent then when it is in its solid form. This is because when butter is churned from cream into butter sometimes flavors are added to season food in a direct marinating form. When we say marinating, we mean that fresh herbs or seasonings of choice can be added to butter as it is being churned and are left inside the butter as it solidifies. This causes the ingredients to release aromas as they set in the butter and preserve these aromas inside the butter when in its solid form. In return, once the butter melts it releases further aromas into the meal being prepared. This is even true when talking about plain butter as the aromas of fresh cream can settle deeper into the ingredients as it melts.

The first thing we like to think about is our grits, what kind and how we want to cook them. Do we want cheese? No cheese? What kind of cheese? There are just some things you want to plan. For our shrimp and grits, we like to cook them in the crockpot to allow them really to soak up the flavor. While most people wouldn’t use any form of quick grits, but we’ve found that the Jim Dandy quick grits perform well in any setting, including the crockpot. So, as far as a tip, invest in these Jim Dandy Quick grits, they will become a true pantry staple. The next thing with the grits is your liquid and seasonings, Perfect Parings Shrimp and Grit Recipe is the one we use to make sure our ratios are perfect every time. Through lots of trial and error, we’ve cracked the code. With some of this in mind, we think that some of the most perfect Shrimp and Grits are indeed “imperfect”. Maybe you gave a heavy pour on your cayenne and poured more then the recipe suggested, maybe you forgot the salt but realized the amount of flavor is simply unremarkable and you don’t even need salt. It’s all a learning process, so mark all over the recipe and find what works for you, you might just impress yourself.

At Perfect Pairings, we take a lot of time to pick our ingredients and one that we put a lot of thought into is our cheese. For our shrimp and grits, we do cheese grits. We go all in for these so its one of those meals that’s so rich you want seconds but don’t know how your going to be able to eat more. With that experience in mind, we reach for gouda cheese for these grits, specifically smoked gouda. Gouda is a cheese that we believe behaves like butter in the sense that it truly traps flavor and aroma in its process of maturing and solidifying it and then releases a wide variety of aroma and taste when it reaches its melting point. This component makes it absolutely divine for grits as the hot grit particles are typically bland by themselves. When you combine the gouda with the grits and butter all the flavors begin to dance with one another, and this is before we even get to the specially picked fresh ingredients we use in this recipe. This combination alone makes the grits themselves nearly fool proof.

The next thing to keep in mind is how ALL of the ingredients will work together, their purpose and how to choose the right ones. For the shrimp, fresh gulf shrimp is simply unbeatable, but that isn’t an option for everyone depending on your geographical location. So, when this is the case, we buy fresh gulf shrimp frozen. You can find these at most grocery stores, we recommend you thaw them and remove the tails before you cook them for the recipe. To thaw we recommend running under room temperature water. Another big thing with shrimp and grits is the fresh vegetables. Do not use frozen vegetables for shrimp and grits as it will mess up the liquid ratio and disrupt the work of the butter. This does not allow for the true flavors to progress through your sauce you put on top of the grits.

With all of this in mind after picking ingredients the next things we ask is what they do for each other. Butter is a staple for shrimp and grits, and it acts as the glue for the recipe as we discussed earlier. For this recipe it's needed for all three components: the grits, the shrimp, and the roux. Using your butter to fry your flour creates the perfect roasted butter flavor, this making of a bit of a roux adds the thickness to the sauce and acts as a sponge for the flavor of all of your added ingredients as they simmer and caramelize into the cooking sauce for the shrimp.

Download the full recipe from the Perfect Pairings Recipe Shop for more. Happy Pairing!