Shrimp and Grits with Greens

My mom’s family is from the South. While we ate plenty of other things, Southern cuisine definitely falls into my personal “soul food” category. However, we ate our grits as a breakfast food with eggs. Occasionally, my mom also ventured into a cheesy grit soufflé dish that was outstanding and featured copious amounts of Velveeta.

But shrimp and grits? While it may be a Southern classic, it wasn’t even on our radar. After eating several restaurant versions and trying this recipe at home, I was definitely missing out. This version of the classic is lightened up and heavy on the greens. I liked how this recipe opted for mustard greens, since I find them to be milder and less tough than traditional collard greens or chard.


Shrimp and Grits with Greens (Serves 4)


3 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock, divided
2 cups skim milk
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup old-fashioned grits
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped green onions
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
½ cup sliced yellow onion
3 cloves minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon honey, divided
1 large bunch mustard greens, deveined and torn into large leaves
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 teaspoons paprika

1. Bring 2 cups stock, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon pepperto a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and green onions. Keep grits warm.

2. While grits are cooking, heat a large skillet with 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add yellow onions and 2 cloves garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock, 1 teaspoon honey, and ½ teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until reduced to about ¼ cup. Add greens to pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from pan; keep warm.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons pepper, 2 teaspoons oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 teaspoons honey, and paprika in a bowl; toss gently to coat. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Shrimp will be pink when done. Add remaining ¼ cup stock to pan; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Serve shrimp over grits with greens.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories:  470
Protein:  41 g
Fat:  11 g
Saturated Fat:  3 g
Cholesterol:  226 mg
Carbohydrates:  54 g
Fiber:  6 g
Sodium:  420 mg

Recipe Notes: My honest preference is stone-ground grits. I couldn’t find any, so I chose old fashioned. The original recipe calls for quick-cooking. The less quickly the grits cook, the better the texture, I have found. If adapted for a different kind of grits, just divide the amount of liquid on the package in half between broth and milk. Cook according to package timing. I highly recommend trying stone ground grits, especially if you think you don’t like grits. It is a different taste and texture for a different experience.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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