Cajun Shrimp & Cheesy Cauliflower “Grits”

For those of us looking to “lighten things up” a bit, here’s my take on a southern favorite that sacrifices some of the carbs but not the flavor. This recipe is simple enough to throw together in 30 minutes, and is another great “multi-tasker” as you know I am a big fan of. 

To get started, preheat the oven to about 350 degrees. You’ll bake the shrimp on skewers before you sear them in the pan prior to serving. It just makes for efficiency, assuming you are using frozen shrimp to get your bang for your buck. Goes without saying, but if it’s #grillszn, skip the oven and the pan searing for sure. No flavor better than the taste of shrimp off the grill. Incomparable.

Not only do I grab the shrimp from the frozen section, but I also cheat and snag the cauliflower from the frozen section, too – pre “riced”. Do we call this cheating? Resourceful? You decide 🙂 … if you’re an overachiever, I won’t judge you on your organic, home-grated cauliflower and fresh caught shrimp from the fish counter if you don’t judge my lazy cheater ingredients? Deal. 

First step regardless, is to spice up those shrimp. Do this to your taste preferences, but I went heavy on the garlic powder, cumin & our pre-blended cajun seasoning that is essentially Louisiana’s favorite flavors of paprika, garlic, onion, and the mild heat of smoky cayenne pepper. No rules here as long as you don’t make it too spicy for yourself, or too salty. Something to keep in mind is that shrimp is pretty salty on it’s own.

We decided sticking the shrimp on skewers would be most fun, but it might have been unnecessary since we weren’t able to throw them on a grill. No need for the skewers unless you plan on grilling them, or eating them right off the skewer for fun. We plated ours anyway, and seared them off the skewer, so the only part that was helpful about having the skews was evenly getting them on and off of the baking sheet. 

The “grits” you will find are simple as can be. Essentially cauliflower needs to be thrown in a wok with some butter, then you’ll cook it up a bit with the flavors, some cream, & lots of cheese at the end. Easy peasy. In fact, it was quick enough to make that I plated the grits just before taking the shrimp out of the oven to sear in that same pan. The less dishes the better, right?

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of frozen, riced cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of salted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb raw, frozen shrimp, peeled, de-veined (with tails makes for a more picturesque dish, without tails makes them easier to eat – no wrong answer)
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or whatever/however much seasoning you like!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start to season your shrimp in a container (tupperware) to let them take in the flavor for a bit). Shake it around to get the flavor evenly set on the shrimps, & prep a baking sheet for them to lay flat on when it’s time to throw them in the heat. 
  2. As the oven preheats and your shrimp absorb the flavors, rip open your bag of frozen cauliflower and your butter, put your wok on low heat, and let the “grits” start defrosting and absorbing the butter flavor, along with some garlic salt. 
  3. Put your shrimp in the oven and set the timer for 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Stir your grits around for a bit before adding in your heavy whipping cream and cheddar. I recommend saving some of the cheddar to add right at the end for an extra cheesy finish that isn’t entirely melted in. 
  5. Once you taste test the grits and they are the consistency and flavor you desire, plate them and prepare your wok to take on the final stage for the shrimp. 
  6. Take the shrimp out of the oven, give them a good sear in the pan, then plate them as well, with the “grits” that are smelling amazing. You might choose to add salt, pepper, or even some scallions on top before you enjoy!

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