I was born and raised in Panama City, Florida where, as you can imagine, fresh seafood is abundant. We had a boat growing up which also seemed to grow with us as we matured as a family. Daddy loved to deep water fish so we always had grouper, red snapper, and anything else he’d catch that was edible. He was also quite skilled with a cast net, catching mullet from the shoreline! Oh my, how we loved fish frys at out house!!
We’d go scalloping at Port St. Joe where the scallops were huge and plentiful. We’d boat down to Islamorada in the Florida Keys every year in August to go lobstering. We learned to scuba dive and became certified so we could catch the lobster as they live deep in the waters around the reefs. Although we certainy did dive on wrecks around Panama City and elsewhere but the major reason for getting certified is so we could go lobstering. It was a worthwhile adventure, for sure.
Living in the Atlanta metro area, fresh seafood is something I miss desperately. When I’m near any coast, I always take advantage of it. Always!
All this all my life and I had never experienced shrimp and grits. Not even in restaurants. I’ve made a few recipes here at home but none to compare to this one. It is absolutely delicious. Spicy, flavorful, and simply the best. Definitely a keeper.
1 bunch scallions, white and light-green part only, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper (seeded if desired), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (10-ounce) Rotel Fire Roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup quick-cooking grits (not instant)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces large shrimp (16–20 count), peeled, deveined and cooked
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups shredded Gouda cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish or another similar-sized baking dish. Set aside.
Heat butter over medium-high heat. Add the scallion, red bell pepper and jalapeño pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cook 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
Stir in garlic, diced tomatoes with chiles and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Slowly stir in grits.
Stir continuously until mixture returns to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Stir in shrimp, bacon, egg and 1 cup cheese. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and bubbling. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.