Last week I posted about the scotch quail egg canapés I made for a get-together I threw. The other dish I made was shrimp and grits, which went down really well– in retrospect, I wish I made much more of it! This is a classic southern American dish that works well as an appetizer or a main dish. Like the scotch eggs, I served this in small personal-sized dishes. Canapés are a great party option because they’re small and manageable to eat without being too awkward. This only thing to remember is to have enough of them so that guests don’t walk away hungry.
I grew up in the south, so I cook a lot of southern food. I’ve been hesitant to post recipes here because the instructions tend to have quantities like “a little of this” or “a dash of that,” but today I’m doing my best to relay this recipe with measurements! With that said, they are a guide, and you can really adjust everything to your personal taste. I hope you enjoy!
250g uncooked king prawns/shrimp
1/2 tbspn hot sauce
1/2 tbspn Old Bay spice (or other all purpose seasoning)
1/2 tbspn cajun spice
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper
juice from 1/4 lime
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tspn oil for frying
Mix your shrimp and spices in a bowl and let marinate for 1-2 hours if you have time. Don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of spice according to your own taste. Marinating will allow the favours to soak into the shrimp, so build in time for it if you can.
When you’re ready, pan fry until just after all of the shrimp turn pink. Avoid cooking too long after they turn pink or the shrimp will get tough.
Serve 4 to 5 pieces of shrimp on top of grits with a lime wedge and fresh cilantro. This is best serve in small dish or on an appetizer spoon.
grits (or polenta if you can’t find grits)
salt and pepper
This part is very simple, yet, not as easy to give a definite recipe for. You’ll need to cook your grits according to the packet instructions. Then add butter and parmesan to taste, bearing in mind that you just want a hint of cheesiness to come through– you’re not making cheesy grits. I usually add a good-sized knob of butter and a little cheese at a time, tasting as I go.
The shrimp cook pretty quickly, so depending on whether or not you can get your hand on instant grits, you may want to start with the grits first.
Good luck and enjoy!