[recipe] shrimp and asparagus with cheesy grits

Last night was the first night I had a real meal for dinner since last Thursday. After a few nights of eating bread, or saltines and plain rice, I was actually hungry for a real meal and set about gathering the ingredients to make one. Shrimp was on my mind for some reason and I headed over to H Mart and found asparagus on sale for $.99 cents a lb (wooo), shrimp on sale and grits just seemed to pop into my head after that.


I was too hungry to bother to go upstairs and get my real camera, so you get iPhone shots today. My apologies.

I haven’t been a big fan of grits before. They always tasted super bland to me even when I tried making them in the past. The directions are right on the box – it only takes about 5 minutes to make – but what had I been doing wrong all these years?

A few Google searches netted me a few recipes where they all replaced water with more flavorful things – like chicken stock and milk. Aha! Of course!


And after the grits I made tonight, the difference is clear. Just using water robs of it of the potential of intense flavors. I used some homemade chicken stock, a small bit of water, and milk with a dash of salt. Some sharp cheddar cheese and a few pats of butter rounded it all out to create some seriously tasty grits.


The asparagus took a short bath in some hot water while the shrimp sizzled in a concoction of onions and lots and lots of garlic. It created a wonderful harmony of flavors that made me reconsider my previous dislike of grits and ushered me into a happy state of bliss. Yay, I can eat normal food again!

Shrimp and Asparagus with Cheesy Grits
  1. 3 cups chicken stock
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 cup quick cooking grits
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  6. 3 tablespoons butter
  7. 1 medium onion, chopped
  8. 5 cloves garlic, minced finely
  9. 1 lb. shrimp, cleaned
  10. salt, pepper
  11. cajun seasoning (optional)
  12. trimmed asparagus
  1. Truly the longest part of this recipe is the prep work! After that, it's all a breeze.
  2. Using a medium sized pan, fill it half way with water and a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil. Cut off the base of your asparagus - that part ain't fit for eating. I then chopped mine into thirds, but you can do what you like! Once the water is boiling, drop in your cut up asparagus and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse asparagus in cold water for a minute - this helps to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Use your same pot (just rinse it out) and add in the chicken stock, milk, and pinch of salt. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, slowly add in your grits. Stir occasionally until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add in butter and cheddar cheese - stir until cheese is fully incorporated.
  4. In another pan, heat up olive oil and a pat of butter. Cook onions until tender and soft (4 minutes or so) then add garlic and heat til fragrant.
  5. Season shrimp with cajun seasonings (I used about a tablespoon), salt and pepper and toss before adding into hot pan. Spread out in a layer. Once it turns pink on one side, flip 'em and cook on the other side until pink all the way through - just a few minutes. Add in asparagus and toss to heat through.
  6. Grab a plate and put a nice scoopful of grits topped with your lovely shrimpy-asparagus topping. Get giddy and dig in.
This Tasty Life https://food.theplainjane.com/

8 thoughts on “[recipe] shrimp and asparagus with cheesy grits

  1. Dang you man. I was going to go for dim sum w/ sis later but now I want some grits (and I don’t even like grits). Actually, I am not even sure if I’ve tried them before. It reminds me of polenta? You version looks so creamy – the chicken stock/milk/cheese/buttah musta done the trick! I saw the asparagus at H Mart too.

    Did you buy fresh or frozen shrimp at H Mart? I have yet to try any of their shrimp in the seafood department.

    I always think of My Cousin Vinny when I think of grits. Busts me up every time I think of that movie 🙂

    1. Hi Faye – Grits are similar to polenta, the ones I used were actually ground hominy but it’s a similar flavor. I used to think I didn’t like grits, either, but with all of the goodies added in for flavor they can be really creamy and yummy! I’m a convert! I bought the shrimp fresh at H Mart, it was very tasty. I bought some pork & leek dumpling for pan frying to try out, too, I want to try that neat trick you did with the pan and how it got all crispy on the bottom. That’s for later this week.

      I saw My Cousin Vinny so so so long ago that it’s like I’ve never seen it. 🙁

      1. My family has never made grits so I think I will try out this recipe. Is it something you have to watch over (the grits) while making – like risotto? Or can one be ‘lazy’ about it 🙂

        Oh you must re watch My Cousin Vinny. If you don’t remember the grits part then that means it’s been too long since you’ve seen it. I think you and Jake would like the movie !

        1. Hi Faye – Nah, it’s a lazy person recipe. Just have to stir a little bit – takes 5-6 minutes to make grits! Very easy.

          Okay, I’ll put that movie on my “re-watch” list haha

  2. Quick shrimp tip: The frozen Argentinian shrimp from Trader Joe’s are so sweet, so delicious. They taste like mini-lobsters. Perfect when seared.
    Have never tried grits, but you’re inspiring me to try.

    1. Hi Sarah – ohh, good tip! I bet they’re all nice and cleaned already, too. Less prep work! I’ll have to pick some up on my next TJ trip.

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