Shrimp & Gritz With Cajun Sauced Turkey

Growing up near New Orleans and the coastal regions of southern Mississippi, I’ve had my fair share of amazing Cajun seafood.  Here is an easy recipe for making one of my favorite dishes, shrimp & grits!

Ingredients:

  • 4oz Ground Turkey
  • 15 – 20 medium or large, peeled shrimp
  • 2 Slices of Bacon
  • ½ cup Grits
  • 1 tbs Butter
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro
  • ½ Onion
  • ½ Green Pepper
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ Tbs Paprika
  • ½ tbs of Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tbs Minced Garlic
  • Salt
  • ½ Cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 4 – 5 sliced green onion tops

Instructions:

  1. Chop two slices of bacon into small to medium sized bits. Set a skillet to medium heat and begin cooking the bacon
  2. While the bacon is cooking, slice and dice ½ of an onion and ½ of a green pepper.
  3. Continue flipping and breaking up the bacon until it has cooked up nice and crisp. Once done, drain and towel away the grease. Crush the cooked bacon bits a little more and set aside for later.
  4. Now, prepare ¼ cup of fresh, chopped cilantro and 4-5 sliced green onion tops.
  5. Before starting on the sauce, go ahead and brown 4oz of ground turkey in another skillet and set to the side until ready to add into the sauce.
  6. Grab a large skillet and set the heat on medium/high and add 1 tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of minced garlic. Cook the minced garlic in the olive oil for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the diced onions and peppers while continuing to cook and stir until the ingredients begin to soften.
  7. Add ½ cup of tomato paste and 2 1/2 cups of water to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the sauce to cook until reduced to about a third of its original volume.  However, if you prefer your sauce to be thin, cook until the onions and peppers are soft and turn off the skillet before any reduction takes place.
  8. While the sauce is still simmering, add 1tsp of red pepper, ½ tbs of Paprika, ½ tsp of black pepper, ½ tbs of oregano, 1/8 tsp of thyme, ½ tsp of salt and the ground turkey that was browned earlier Stir until evenly mixed.
  9. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the sauce rest while we prepare the shrimp & grits.
  10. Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add 1tbs of butter, ½ tsp of salt, ¼ cup of milk, and ½ cup of instant 5 minute grits.  Mix and continue to boil for 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat  and set the pot to the side.  Let the grits settle for about 5 – 10 minutes while preparing the shrimp.
  11. In a medium sized skillet, bring the heat to medium high and melt 1 tbs of butter. Add in 15 – 20 medium to large sized peeled shrimp and a handful of sliced green onion tops. Season the shrimp with a pinch of salt and ½ tbs of garlic powder. Stir the shrimp continuously for about 2 – 3 minutes until they are cooked firm and appear pink in color.

Now, its time to enjoy! Grab a plate and fill it with grits and sauce.  Place several shrimp on top and garnish with bacon, fresh cilantro, and just a little more sauce.  Enjoy!

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