Shrimp and Smoked Gouda Grits Bites are a bite-sized version of two of the South’s favorite foods — shrimp and grits. Succulent shrimp are mounted on top of Smoked Gouda Grits rounds for a perfect appetizer.
Wow your family and friends with these delicious treats.
Generally, when I make grits, I use quick grits. For this appetizer, I decided to use stone-ground grits.
Stone-ground grits are made from whole dried corn kernels that have been coarsely ground between the two stones of a grist mill. Because the entire kernel is ground, including the germ, stone-ground grits often have a speckled appearance. Also, stone-ground grits have more of a corn flavor.
Quick grits on the other hand are made from dried hominy where the hull and germ have been removed. Quick grits are ground fine and processed to cook quickly.
When I make cheese grits for breakfast, I generally use Velveeta cheese. However, I also like to add Smoked Gouda cheese to grits, which is what I did with this recipe.
One of the benefits of living on the Gulf Coast is an abundance of fresh seafood. My favorite is shrimp, preferably bay shrimp.
I like to buy head-on shrimp and clean them myself. Although cleaning the shrimp is pretty gross, the head-on shrimp tend to be the freshest.
To clean the shrimp, I cut off the head and remove the shell. For the recipe, I left the tails on for appearance.
I then remove the vein from both the top and the bottom of the shrimp. Anyone who thinks that deveining the shrimp is unnecessary has never seen how gross the vein can be.
The Shrimp and Grits Bites are an amazing appetizer that is a flavorful as it is beautiful to look at. Yum!
Shrimp and Gouda Grits Bites
Makes 20 Shrimp and Gouda Grits Bites
Smoked Gouda Grits
5 cups water
¼ cup (2-ounces, ½ stick) unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ cups stone ground grits
1 ½ cups (6-ounces) shredded Smoked Gouda cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
Juice of ½ lemon
20 Italian Parsley leaves
20 Baby Spinach leaves
20 knotted bamboo picks
Smoked Gouda Grits
Line a rimmed quarter sheet pan or 9 x 13-inch dish with non-stick aluminum foil. Set aside.
Add water, butter, salt and pepper to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add grits; stir to combine. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer grits uncovered, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes or until thick and creamy.
Add shredded cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
Transfer to prepared sheet pan; spread to an even layer. Allow to come to room temperature. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lift chilled grits and foil from sheet pan. Cut grits into 20 2-inch rounds. Discard grits scraps or use for another recipe.
Place grits rounds on a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add Creole seasoning, Italian seasoning, salt and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Working in batches, add shrimp being careful to not overcrowd. Cook for several minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
Insert a bamboo pick into parsley leaf and then into each shrimp. Place spinach leaf on grits round; insert skewered shrimp into grits round. Arrange the appetizers attractively on a serving plate and serve with lemon wedges.
Yield: 20 Shrimp and Grits Bites.
- You may also use quick grits in this recipe. Do not, however, use Instant grits.
- Rather than Smoked Gouda cheese, feel free to use cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese or the cheese of your choice.
- The Italian parsley is just for a garnish. You can use fresh oregano, rosemary or other fresh herb of your choice. You can also omit the garnish all together.
- I like the way that the knotted bamboo picks look. However, you can use any other party-type pick that you have on hand.
- The grits will be very thick which is what you want in this recipe even though it will continue to thicken as it cools.
- The reason for baking the grits rounds is to further firm them up. You can also pan fry the grits rounds in some butter rather than baking them.
- Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, which becomes tough if overcooked.
Chula King is the blogger behind PudgeFactor.com.
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