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Deconstructed Shrimp & Grits

Deconstructed Shrimp & Grits {one small bite at a time}

Libby with Lemony Thyme
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer
Servings 6


For the grits…

  • 1 cup yellow corn grits Polenta – not instant
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbl. butter
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated

For the sauce…

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 Tbl. reserved bacon fat
  • 2 shallot fine diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3-4 Tbl. Frank’s hot sauce to taste
  • 1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbl. fresh parsley minced
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper

For the shrimp…

  • 24 medium shrimp about 1/2 lb., peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Canola oil for frying


For the grits...

  • In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Slowly stir in grits, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring frequently for 20 minutes or until grits are tender. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Oil a 9"x9" or 11"x7" pan. Pour in cooked grits and allow to cool at least 15 minutes (prepare sauce at this time). Turn grits out onto a flat surface. Use a small cookie cutter to cut 24 individual grit cakes. Arrange on a shallow baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle tops of each cake with grated cheese. Reserve. Just before serving, place cakes under the broiler to melt the cheese.

For the sauce...

  • Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove and drain, reserving 1 Tbl. bacon fat. Saute shallot over medium-low heat until soft, add in garlic saute another minute. Add wine, allow to simmer 3-4 minutes then add chicken broth, lemon juice, and scallions. Allow mixture to gently simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, until reduced by at least half. Stir in crumbled crispy bacon. Reserve.

For the shrimp...

  • Arrange 3 dishes for coating the shrimp. Combine flour with seasoning in a medium covered bowl or zipper bag. Beat egg in second dish. Place panko crumbs in third dish. Line shallow baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat shrimp dry, then toss in seasoned flour. Individually dip each shrimp in egg, then into crumbs, then place on baking sheet.
  • To fry the shrimp, add enough canola oil to a deep pan and heat to 375 degrees. Fry shrimp in small batches until golden brown. Drain on a brown bag.

To assemble...

  • For each serving plate a cheddar grit cake, topped with a spoonful of warm sauce, and a crispy fried shrimp. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.


To serve this appetizer to a larger group, prepare the grit cakes and sauce ahead of time. Individually bread the shrimp then refrigerate until ready to fry. When it's time to assemble, grit cakes can be warmed in the oven and plated when the shrimp are ready to serve.