Have you ever rented an apartment based on its proximity to one of your favorite restaurants? I’ve done it twice. When I first moved to Brooklyn, I took an apartment out of my price range because it was three blocks away from my favorite ice cream shop… and it had a dishwasher. While I was living in this apartment, I frequented a Caribbean restaurant nearby that specialized in oxtail stew, jerk shrimp, festivals, and rum-based cocktails. I lived in this apartment for two years, then moved just far enough away that walking to this restaurant was inconvenient. To Uber or not to Uber, that is the age-old question. When I started looking for a place of my own last year, I was drawn to rentals that would get me closer to everything jerk-marinated. I sacrificed a lot of square-footage to be close to my beloved eatery, but it was definitely worth it. Their delicious food inspired me to make my own take on jerk shrimp – and what goes best with shrimp? Grits, of course!
To make my Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Grits, start with a flavorful marinade packed with lots of fresh ginger, garlic, scallions, and spices. Toss with the shrimp and let them hang out overnight. Give them a quick turn on the grill and serve over big bowls of buttery, cheesy grits.
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grilling
- 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup milk
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup white grits
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar (2 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Marinate shrimp: pulse ginger, garlic, scallions, thyme, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, salt, pepper, and oil in the bowl of a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl; add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
- Make grits: bring milk, 3 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter; adjust seasoning. Cover to keep warm, adding more water to loosen as needed.
- Grill shrimp: heat a grill over medium-high; brush grill grates lightly with oil. Add shrimp and cook, flipping once, until charred and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Serve over grits with sliced scallions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414-620