On the last day of my recent stay in New Orleans, I had an amazing bowl of shrimp and grits. It was so good that it left me wanting more, and when I got home I tried to find a recipe that was similar. Unfortunately, a lot of the recipes were backed with calories and no one recipe had all of the components of the dish I had in NOLA. So, what’s a girl to do? I Macgyvered my own recipe of course, by combining several different recipes and then looking for ways that I could slim the dish down. In the end, these New Orleans style shrimp and grits turned out even better than the ones I had on my trip, and had lower calories to boot, although it still won’t be making any Weight Watcher’s lists.
1 1.2 cups water
1 cup fat-free chicken stock
1 cup instant grits
2 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup half-and-half
4 oz. shredded part-skim sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. medium shrimp peeled and deveined
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Oregano
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. garlic minced
3 tbsp. un-bleached flour
1 c. fat-free chicken stock
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Crystal hot sauce (you can add more if you want more heat)
1 Andouille Sausage
Step 1: Prepare the Grits. In a pot, bring water, chicken stock and butter to a boil over medium high heat. Whisk in the grits a little at a time and cook for 5 minutes, whisking and stirring often. The mixture will start to look dry, but just keep stirring. Add in the cheese and half-and-half and continue whisking for another 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the shrimp. Combine Paprika, Cajun Seasoning, Basil, Oregano and Pepper in a large bowl. Add the shrimp to the bowl of seasonings and coat thoroughly. In a large saute pan, melt two tbsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the coated shrimp. Cook the shrimp until they are tender. Be sure no too overcook them, or they will be tough. Cover and set them aside, but do not clean out the saute pan.
Step 3: Prepare the sauce. In the saute pan, add 3 tbsp. of un-bleached flour to the drippings from the shrimp. Mix it well to make a roux and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Don’t worry, the roux will not burn as long as you keep it moving often. Add the chicken stock and half-and-half and whisk together well for two minutes, then add the Worcestershire and hot sauce. Set aside and let cool a little.
Step 4: Chop up one Andouille sausage into small pieces and cook it in a small saute pan over medium high heat until done. I use pre-cooked Andouille so it only takes a minute or two to warm it up.
Step 5: Putting it all together. Add a spoonful of cheese grits to the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with 5 shrimp and add plenty of sauce. Top with a few pieces of Andouille sausage.