Recipe courtesy of Miss Shirley's Cafe

Get Your Grits On with Blackened Shrimp

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 50 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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30 jumbo (U-15) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on

1/2 cup Cajun blackening spice, plus additional for dusting 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

Roasted Corn Emulsion, recipe follows, hot

Fried Green Tomatoes, recipe follows

Stone Ground Bacon Grits, recipe follows, hot

1 small tomato, diced 

1 tablespoon fresh chives, diced 

Roasted Corn Emulsion:

3 ears corn on the cob, husked

1 tablespoon olive oil 

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon shrimp base 

1 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon fresh chives, diced 

Fried Green Tomatoes:

2 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 cup sugar 

2 tablespoons Cajun spice 

1 cup buttermilk 

1/4 cup honey 

4 green tomatoes 

Canola oil, for frying 

Kosher salt

Stone Ground Bacon Grits:

8 to 10 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced

3/4 cup heavy cream 

3/4 cup whole milk 

3/4 cup stone-ground grits 

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons mascarpone


  1. Toss shrimp in Cajun spice in a large bowl to coat.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan, then add shrimp. Cook until shrimp curls and turns pink, 1 to 2 minutes on each side (see Cook's Note).
  4. Ladle 1/4 cup Roasted Corn Emulsion on bottom of a plate. Place 3 hot Fried Green Tomato Slices side by side, on top. Add small scoops of Stone Ground Bacon Grits on each Fried Green Tomato slice. Place a shrimp on each of the stacks.
  5. Sprinkle diced tomato and chives on top. Then, dust with more Cajun spice and serve.

Roasted Corn Emulsion:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rub corn cobs with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a sheet tray and roast until cooked and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Once cooled, cut corn off of the cobs and set aside, saving the cobs.
  4. Combine shrimp base, 4 cups water and cobs in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half, then remove cobs and discard. Add heavy cream to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a separate small pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, until it becomes the consistency of wet sand, 3 to 4 minutes, to create a roux. Remove from heat. Once the cream is simmering, whisk in the roux mixture. Reduce heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  6. Add corn, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined, then serve hot.

Fried Green Tomatoes:

  1. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar and Cajun spice in a large bowl to create a breading mixture.
  2. Combine buttermilk and honey in another large bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Slice green tomatoes about 1/4-inch thick, roughly 4 to 5 slices per tomato. Place tomato slices in the honey-buttermilk mixture and gently toss to coat.
  4. Place each green tomato slice in the breading mixture, and coat both sides well. Set breaded tomatoes aside and save any remaining breading.
  5. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, to prepare for frying.
  6. Re-bread green tomato slices in the remaining breading mixture, then place in the skillet and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  7. Remove fried green tomato slices from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb any remaining grease. Sprinkle with salt to taste, then serve hot.

Stone Ground Bacon Grits:

  1. Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned.
  2. Add heavy cream, whole milk and 1 1/4 cups water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the grits with a wire whisk, making sure there are no lumps.
  3. Bring back to a simmer, then lower heat. Season with salt and pepper, and let simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure that no lumps form and the bottom does not burn, until grits are fully cooked, 20 to 25 minutes (see Cook's Note). Remove pot from heat.
  4. Whisk in mascarpone until well combined, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve hot or refrigerate up to 4 days.

Cook’s Note

Shrimp may need to be cooked in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pan. If cooking in 2 batches, use half the butter and oil in the pan for each batch. If the grits are becoming too thick before fully cooked, you may need to add more water to thin them.

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