It was over 20 years ago when I created my own “Shrimp in the Oven” dish for company. I remember that I wanted a great buttery sauce to dip crusty french bread into. Slurp, yum. It was really good – the perfect blend of spice and garlic and lemony butteryness.
I thought, “Hey! I am gonna mail this recipe to Southern Living!” The gospel for southern cooking in 1997. Well, low and behold, I got a letter back from them and my recipe would be featured in an article for a wedding brunch. They multiplied my recipe to feed 50 or more people, and
added their own yummy grits recipe. A star was born. Well, not really but they sent me $25, some cards with my recipe on them and a copy of Annual Recipes, 1997.
I may have tweeked my original recipe but it is still so good – maybe better. And there is the addition of my cheesy grits – make ahead and stovetop varieties.
I have used this as the perfect “take to the beach on a girl’s trip” meal. And I recently made a shrimp and grits kit for someone for a formal brunch. All the components were ready to throw together in a dish to bake and serve hot. I made baked cheese grits in her own casserole dishes – It was also all ready for her the stick in the oven. The meal was a huge success!
This recipe can be multiplied or divided and you can adjust the heat for your own tastes!
2 lb peeled, deviened shrimp (I am a shrimp snob – Gulf shrimp are preferred, but definitely nothing that is not from the US)
1 stick butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup worchestershire
2 or 3 cloves minced garlic
1 – 2 t black pepper
1 – 2 t cajun seasoning ( I love Slap your Mama)
1 – 2 t Old Bay
Hot Pepper Sauce ( I like Crystal)
3 Chopped Green Onions and some more for garnish.
If you are making this right now, throw everything into a glass baking dish. Bake at 350 until shrimp are pink and everything is saucy. Stir several times, basting shrimp while cooking.
If you are taking this to the beach or lake, like I did this summer, for a bunch of hungry girlfriends, pack the shrimp on ice, and mix the other ingredients (except the green onions) in a tupperware. Dump it all in a pan and bake away when ready to serve. Disposable pans are nice, cause girlfriends want to drink wine, not do dishes.
Now for Grits – 2 different ways:
Baked Cheese Grits – perfect for make ahead
4 cups water
1 cup grits
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 c cream
1 t black pepper
1 t garlic powder
12 oz cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 stick butter
Cook grits, with water and salt. Mix everything else in and pour into a heavily buttered casserole dish – 9 x 13. Bake at 350 for about 35 – 40 minutes. These can be made a day or two ahead, stored covered in the fridge.
If you are making grits on the stove while the shrimp are baking, follow the directions on the box of quick grits, and add as much cheese, butter and half & half as your conscience will allow.
You can get fancy and use smoked gouda. Yum.
If you are feeling super fancy, have some crumbled bacon to garnish.
Now really super fancy? Saute some sliced mushrooms in butter and thyme to garnish.
That’s enough fancy.
Don’t forget the crusty french bread for slurpping up sauce.