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Shrimp with Parmigiano Reggiano Grits & Tomatoes

By using low fat milk instead of cream, olive oil instead of butter, and full-flavored Parmesan, I've lightened this Low Country classic so the flavor of the grits and shrimp are front and center.
Author: Virginia Willis


  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups low fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups stoneground grits
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves preferably fresh
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes coarsely chopped, juices reserved
  • 1 Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 24 large shrimp peeled, deveined, and diced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh herbs such as parsley oregano, and thyme, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese more for garnish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • For the grits: Heat water, milk, and salt to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth, thick, and falls easily from a spoon, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare tomatoes: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté and garlic until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Pour in white wine, and cook until dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bay leaves, and stir in tomatoes and reserved juice. Season with cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped herbs.
  • When grits are thickened, stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano. To serve, put a heaping spoonful of grits onto a plate. Top with the tomatoes and shrimp. Garnish with freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.