Tonight I am giving a nod to my friends in Louisiana. I spent four exciting years in Lake Charles, Louisiana for college (Geaux Pokes!) and there is no food like Cajun food! Thankfully, I didn’t have my gluten sensitivity yet, so I was able to enjoy all these amazing flavors. Once I found out I couldn’t have gluten, almost all restaurant Cajun food was on the no no list because of the reaux (flour and butter mixture that makes the base of most of these recipes). Thankfully, through recipes I found online and alot of experimenting, I have perfected my shrimp and grits recipe so I can still enjoy the luscious, silky flavors!

Youth! Dorm life in Louisiana for me 🙂

Today, my favorite way to make this recipe is in my crock pot. It lets the flavors really meld together without me having to sit and watch it forever. The only caveat to this is that it is not an all day recipe- it only needs 4 hours in the crock pot on low- so plan for a weekend afternoon. On a weeknight, you can use the same ingredients on the stove, and it will take you a total of about 30-45 minutes. When you buy shrimp at the grocery store, you can get them peeled and deveined if you are in a hurry, but you can save money by peeling your own.

Now, to my featured ingredient (shameless plug) in this dish. Every region of Louisiana has their preferred brand of spices, but I always use Tony’s. It is like that commercial- I put that s*** on everything! It is my go to for any recipe, even non-Cajun dishes. It is even good on popcorn! I buy the salt free, and then add salt if needed.

Kid tips

  1. I cut up all the veggies and the kids like to taste a few to see what they like raw. Then they get to put everything in the crock pot (before you turn it on).
  2. My 4 year old likes to help measure, so she measures out the ingredients for the grits. Yes, it is messier, but it is a great skill!
  3. Make sure your kids know that even when they are helping you, they should NEVER touch the outside of a crock pot. They don’t know if it is on, and the outside of those things get HOT!!!

Little hands that help to cook are more likely to eat!

Also, if you are not using a crock pot liner, you need to run out and buy them right now! Makes clean up so much easier, and any leftovers lift right out into tupperware!

Slow Cooked Shrimp and Grits

1/2 red bell pepper

1/2 green bell pepper

3 green onions

1 stalk celery

4 T butter

2 T+ 1T Creole Seasoning (Tony’s!)- added separately

1-2 lbs raw shrimp- the bigger the better

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 c heavy cream

Quick grits

  1. Dice bell peppers, celery and onion and put into the bottom of your crock pot.
  2. Cube butter into small chunks and put in crockpot. Add 2T creole seasoning.
  3. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
  4. Rinse and drain shrimp, especially if purchased frozen. Season with 1T Tony’s and add to the crock pot. Turn the heat to high. Cook shrimp for 15 minutes.
  5. While shrimp is cooking, make quick grits on the stove according the box directions. Stir every 1-2 minutes to ensure you don’t have lumps!
  6. After 15 minutes, add cream and cheese to the crock pot and stir everything together. Put lid on and cook for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  7. Put grits in bottom of the bowl, then ladle shrimp and cheese sauce onto the top liberally.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this dish! Thanks for reading my blog. To my friends in Louisiana now, stay dry and safe from Tropical Storm Barry!

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