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Blue dinner bowl with low country-style shrimp and grits topped with roasted tomatoes on a blue background with kitchen twine on the table.

Low Country-Style Shrimp & Grits

roasted tomatoes, country ham

STARS

A semi-traditional version of the low-country classic. Grits have always been a staple in Southern cuisine, and shrimp and grits, which started out as a common breakfast dish in post-Civil War Charleston, SC, is still a favorite. Here you’ll fancy it up a bit with the addition of roasted tomatoes and thyme, as well as country-style ham topping the creamy cheddar-infused grits. Sauté plump shrimp with onion, garlic, red and jalapeño peppers, and special secret spices!
difficultyDifficulty Level
IntermediateIntermediateIntermediate
difficulty
Total Time:  30 minutes
Active Time:  30 minutes
Ingredients

Polenta

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sofrito

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • ½ cup ham, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tomato Jus

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

Roasted Tomatoes

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Shrimp

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • ½ teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1
Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
2
In a large pot, bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring regularly, for 20 minutes. Fold the cheese into the polenta and cook for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
3
To make the sofrito, heat a medium skillet over medium heat with the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts, add the onion, garlic, celery and thyme and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the ham, bell pepper and jalapeño and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper. 
4
In a small saucepan, heat the tomato paste and vegetable stock, stirring until the paste is dissolved. 
5
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and roast for 8-10 minutes, until starting to soften. 
6
Combine the seasoning for the shrimp in a large bowl, add the shrimp, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 5-8 minutes, stirring once, until pink and cooked through. 
7
To serve, divide the poletna between plates. Top with sofrito, roasted tomatoes, and shrimp and drizzle with tomato jus. 

Low Country-Style Shrimp & Grits

roasted tomatoes, country ham

STARS

A semi-traditional version of the low-country classic. Grits have always been a staple in Southern cuisine, and shrimp and grits, which started out as a common breakfast dish in post-Civil War Charleston, SC, is still a favorite. Here you’ll fancy it up a bit with the addition of roasted tomatoes and thyme, as well as country-style ham topping the creamy cheddar-infused grits. Sauté plump shrimp with onion, garlic, red and jalapeño peppers, and special secret spices!
difficultyDifficulty Level
IntermediateIntermediateIntermediate
difficulty
Total Time:  30 minutes
Active Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4

Ingredients

Polenta

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sofrito

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • ½ cup ham, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tomato Jus

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

Roasted Tomatoes

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Shrimp

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • ½ teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1
Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
2
In a large pot, bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring regularly, for 20 minutes. Fold the cheese into the polenta and cook for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
3
To make the sofrito, heat a medium skillet over medium heat with the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts, add the onion, garlic, celery and thyme and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the ham, bell pepper and jalapeño and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper. 
4
In a small saucepan, heat the tomato paste and vegetable stock, stirring until the paste is dissolved. 
5
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and roast for 8-10 minutes, until starting to soften. 
6
Combine the seasoning for the shrimp in a large bowl, add the shrimp, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 5-8 minutes, stirring once, until pink and cooked through. 
7
To serve, divide the poletna between plates. Top with sofrito, roasted tomatoes, and shrimp and drizzle with tomato jus.