Turmeric is one of my favorite spices for shrimp; it's pungent and a little bitter and really adds a punch to the delicate flavor of shrimp. I've been throwing turmeric on and in everything lately, so I decided to see how it would work with a classic Shrimp and Grits recipe.
Also, Shrimp and Grits enthusiasts, don't hate me...but I used quick cooking grits because it's Friday and I didn't feel like babysitting the stove for an hour! That being said, you may feel free to use whatever recipe for grits you feel like. The following recipe uses instant.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 50 minutes
1 pound medium shrimp
1-1/2 tablespoons turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces diced pancetta, prosciutto, or thick-sliced bacon
16 ounces mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, or oyster)
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium shallot
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
Cayenne powder to taste
1 cup quick cooking grits
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces of cheese (cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere or a mix)
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, such as parsley and thyme
Prep Ingredients: Peel and devein the shrimp. Thinly slice the mushrooms. Finely chop the shallots and garlic. Shred the cheese or cut into small cubes. Mince the herbs.
In a resealable bag, add the shrimp, salt, pepper, and the turmeric. Shake to evenly coat the shrimp. Chill until ready to use.
In a skillet, cook the pancetta (or bacon or prosciutto) over medium high until crispy and the fat has rendered, about 5-7 minutes. Reserve the fat in the skillet. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook on an even layer over medium high until just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet and turn the heat up to high, adding more canola oil as needed. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until beginning to turn golden brown, stirring constantly and adjusting the heat as necessary. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and reduce to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter and the minced herbs. Simmer for 5-10 minutes before seasoning with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
While the mushrooms cook, make the grits. In a large pot, heat the heavy cream and 1 cup of water until almost boiling. Add the cheese and whisk constantly to melt it. Once the mixture is at a very low boil, stir in the quick cooking grits. Whisk constantly to incorporate. Once the mixture is smooth, season with salt and pepper and cover. Keep warm.
During the last 5 minutes of the mushrooms simmering, add the shrimp back to the skillet to reheat.
Before serving, loosen up the grits if necessary by adding chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time and whisking it in.
To serve: Divide grits between bowls and top with mushrooms and a bit of the sauce. Arrange shrimp on top of the mushrooms and top with crispy pancetta.
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!