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Shrimp & Cheesy Grit Cake Bites

Ultra creamy grit patties are fried and served with a buttery sauteed shrimp and crispy bacon to create an appetizer that your guests will go crazy for. Pairs perfectly with the flavors of Chardonnay wine!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time5 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 20 bites

Ingredients

For the grits:

  • 1 cup grits (not quick-cooking!)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ounces butter salted
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese shredded

For forming the grit cakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs plain
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

For the shrimp topping:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp thawed, large or jumbo
  • 4 ounces bacon diced
  • 2 small shallots minced
  • 1 celery rib minced
  • 1 scallion diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

For the grits:

  • First, we must make the grits before they can be assembled into grit cakes. Pour the chicken both, heavy cream, and water into a medium sauce pan. Add butter and seasonings and whisk together. Heat mixture over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Once it's boiling, very very slowly pour in the grits while whisking quickly for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once grits have cooked and thickened, add shredded cheese and whisk together until combined. Taste grits and add hot sauce or salt, if needed. Grease 9x13 casserole dish or baking pan. Pour cooked grits into dish. Bang on counter a couple times to remove air bubbles. Let grits cool for 10 minutes and then cover and place in fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. It should be completely set before you cut out the grit cakes.

To assemble the grit cakes:

  • Place flour, breadcrumbs, and eggs in three separate bowls. Beat eggs. Mix black pepper, creole seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Distribute evenly between the flour, breadcrumbs, and eggs. Set aside.
  • Remove set grits from fridge. Place a sheet of parchment paper on counter next to the grits. Using a 2 1/2 to 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as possible, about 20, and place on parchment paper. One at a time, roll in flour, shake off excess, dip in egg mixture, and then cover in breadcrumbs. Make sure you press on the breadcrumbs so that they stick on really well. Repeat with rest of grit cakes.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of oil to a medium heavy-bottomed skillet (I used my cast-iron skillet). Heat on medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place four grit cakes in oil and fry for 1 minute per side. They should be deep golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining cakes. Do not fry more than 4 cakes at a time, otherwise the oil temperature will drop too low.
  • Once all cakes have fried, place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while we make the shrimp. I have a "warm" setting on my oven, but if you don't, warm it up to 180 to 200 degrees.

To make the shrimp:

  • Heat skillet to medium heat. Add diced bacon and cook through until crispy. Remove and drain bacon on paper towels. Do not discard bacon grease. Pat down shrimp so that it's as dry as possible. Heat leftover bacon grease to medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook until bright pink, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
  • If all the bacon grease is used up, add another 1 tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and heat to medium heat. Once hot, add shallots, scallion, celery, red pepper, parsley, thyme, and garlic. Cook until veggies soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add back the bacon and shrimp. Toss until combined. Turn off heat.
  • Remove grit cakes from oven. Assemble grit cakes by placing a little of the bacon and veggie mixture on a grit cake and then top with a shrimp. Repeat with the rest of the grit cakes. Serve immediately.

Notes

Grit cake recipe adapted from Creole Contessa