Shrimp and grits, a traditional dish from the American South, is a relatively easy dish that takes about a half an hour to cook. Properly timing the cooking of the shrimp and grits will ensure that this dish comes out hot and delicious. It is also important to cook the shrimp just enough, as overcooking it will make them chewy.
There are a number of tips that can help the grits turn out well. Grits should be cooked in a liquid, usually a mixture of water or broth with milk or cream. Using broth and cream will add considerable flavor to the grits, though it will also add many calories to the dish. The liquid should be brought to a slow boil, and the heat on the stove should be lowered as soon as boiling begins to keep it from boiling over. Dairy products can also scorch if the temperature remains too high for an extended period of time.
Once the liquid is boiling, add the grits slowly while stirring the liquid constantly. This keeps the grits from clumping together and from sticking to the bottom of the pan. A whisk can be used to stir the grits, though it is important to use a whisk that can withstand high temperatures so that the whisk does not melt into the dish.
If the shrimp is to be marinated, it should be left in the marinade for about 15 minutes to allow it to absorb all the flavors. Shrimp can be placed in the marinade when the grits begin cooking. This will allow the grits enough time to cook. If quick-cooking grits are being used, the shrimp will need to be marinated before the grits begin to cook.
Some shrimp and grits recipes call for the shrimp to be cooked with other ingredients, such as butter, garlic, onions, and bacon. When cooking with butter, keep the temperature between a low and medium heat so that it doesn't smoke. The other ingredients should be cooked nearly all the way through before the shrimp are added. Do not overcook the shrimp. Timing the dish so that the shrimp and grits are cooked through at the same time will make the best dish, though if this is not possible, the grits can be kept warm while the shrimp is being cooked.