Discovering the Rich History of Cajun Shrimp and Grits: From Lowcountry Roots to Louisiana Flavor
Updated: Apr 24
Cajun Shrimp and Grits is a classic southern dish that has its roots in the Lowcountry cuisine of South Carolina and Georgia. However, over time, this dish has been adapted and made popular by Cajun and Creole cooks in Louisiana, where it has become a staple of the local cuisine.
The origin of the dish is somewhat unclear, but it is thought to have been influenced by the West African and Native American cuisines of the region. The use of grits, for example, is thought to have been influenced by the Native Americans who lived in the southern United States and used ground corn as a staple in their diets.
The dish became popular in the early 20th century, when it was served in restaurants and cafes throughout the south. It was often made with cheap and readily available ingredients, such as shrimp and grits, which made it an affordable and filling meal for workers and families.
Over time, Cajun and Creole cooks began to add their own unique flavors and spices to the dish, such as the "Holy Trinity" of onions, celery, and bell peppers that are common in Cajun cooking. The addition of spicy seasonings like cayenne pepper, paprika, and Tabasco sauce also added to the flavor profile of the dish.
Today, Cajun Shrimp and Grits is enjoyed all over the world and has become a favorite of both home cooks and professional chefs alike. It is often served at seafood restaurants and cafes, as well as at special events and celebrations in the south.
Whether you're a lifelong fan of Cajun cuisine or just looking for a delicious and comforting meal, Cajun Shrimp and Grits is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling full and satisfied. So why not try making this classic dish at home today and experience the rich flavors and history of the south for yourself!
Check out my recipe!
For the grits:
• 1 cup grits
• 4 cups water
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup chopped green onions
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Salt and pepper to taste
For the shrimp:
• 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the grits:
1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the grits and stir to combine.
2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the grits for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and creamy.
3. Stir in the heavy cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Keep the grits warm on low heat until ready to serve.
For the shrimp:
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
2. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds, until fragrant.
3. Add the Cajun seasoning, salt, and black pepper to the skillet and stir to coat the vegetables.
4. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until pink and cooked through.
5. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the top of the shrimp and vegetables. Cover the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
6. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top of the cheese and shrimp.
1. Spoon the warm grits onto plates.
2. Top the grits with the Cajun Shrimp with Cheese and Holy Trinity.
3. Serve hot and enjoy!