Barbecue Shrimp & Cheesy Grits


Michael and Christopher traveled two hours away yesterday to Ruston, Louisiana, and spent the afternoon at one of Louisiana Tech’s football day camps.  It was a totally new experience for Christopher since he was one of the youngest participants.  Most of the young men there were high school juniors and seniors, so Christopher found himself in the unfamiliar situation of NOT being the biggest kid there.  There were many, many boys there who were much bigger than he is.  But he dug in and worked hard and kept up with them through the many drills and exercises the college coaches put them through.  It was a great experience for Christopher, but he was exhausted when he got home.

Elizabeth and I had a girls’ day.  We painted each others toenails and gave ourselves facials.  We watched a movie marathon and giggled and had a blast.  I had planned for us to go to dinner somewhere, but she just wanted to stay at home.  She just asked if I could make something “different.”

“Different” means “Not the same thing you always cook.”

I’ve been toying with this recipe for a while now, so this seemed like the perfect time to try it out.  After all, if it bombed, I would only have to hear about it from one family member and not three!

Barbecue shrimp is one of those classic New Orleans dishes.  The shrimp are usually cooked in the shell and are spicy as heck.  Don’t expect a typical barbecue sauce.  These bad boys are swimming in a sauce of butter spiked with Worcestershire.  Part of the fun is digging in and shelling the shrimp while you eat.  Most people end up with the spicy sauce dripping down their elbows.

Word to the wise:  Don’t wear your favorite white shirt when you’re eating barbecue shrimp!

I made mine with shelled shrimp since I didn’t want the hassle or mess of shelling at the table.  I also made mine a little sweeter since I don’t like overly spicy food.  Don’t worry.  They are still plenty spicy!

I served the shrimp over cheesy grits. I love grits.  Michael hates grits.  Won’t touch them.  I think he must have been frightened by grits as a child.  I am actually kind of famous for my Bacon Garlic Cheese Grits.  I make them for breakfast-y get togethers all the time.  Everybody loves them.  Everybody wants the recipe.  Everybody wants more.

Michael hates grits.

So this seemed like a good time to make them.  I made the grits and then added ricotta, whipping cream, shredded Gouda, garlic salt, and fresh spinach.  They were creamy and savory.  The perfect bed for these delicious shrimp!

I’m going to post the grits recipe first since I made it first.  After I got it into the oven, I started the shrimp.  They don’t take long to make.

Cheesy Grits

  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups of grits (NOT instant grits)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of ricotta
  • 7 ounces of Gouda, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 3 cups of fresh baby spinach.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the stock to a rapid boil in a large pot.  Add grits and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When grits are done, add the garlic salt, ricotta, Gouda, and whipping cream and stir to combine.  Add the spinach and stir into the hot grits until the spinach wilts slightly.  Pour grits into a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Barbecue Shrimp

  • 12 ounces of raw, medium shrimp (peeled, deveined)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of grated garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  •  3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Add chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper to a zipper bag and shake to combine.  Add the shrimp and shake and massage until all shrimp are coated.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter, add garlic, honey, and Worcestershire.  Cook on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add shrimp and stir to coat.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp curl.  Remove from heat.

Serve over grits.

Well Duh #1:  I used a tube of garlic paste.  You can also grate garlic cloves with a microplane.  You just don’t want big chunks of garlic.

Well Duh #2:  I used quick grits because they cook in 5-7 minutes.  If you use a variety that takes longer to cook, just adjust your cooking time.

Well Duh #3:  You can use water instead of stock.

Well Duh #4:  The shrimp recipe can easily be doubled!

Well Duh #5:  You can add more cayenne if you want your shrimp spicier, but I wouldn’t use more than a teaspoon the first time you try this recipe.

Well Duh #6:  You can leave out the spinach if you want to.

Well Duh #7:  You can actually coat the shrimp before you start making the grits.  I did this while I was waiting on the water to boil for the grits.  I like to let mine marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Elizabeth and I loved this dish!  The grits were creamy and savory.  The shrimp were just spicy enough.  It was perfect!  This actually made enough for the whole family, but we kept sneaking back into the kitchen and eating shrimp until they were all gone!  There were plenty of grits left for Christopher to scarf down when the guys got home.  We will definitely have this again!



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