This 30-minute Puerto Rican shrimp and grits (with sofrito) recipe is perfect for the summer. Puerto Ricans don’t have the grits Americans know, but we do have funche, which is more like polenta.
Wikipedia lists Shrimp + Grits as not only a traditional dish from the Southern Low Country, but a traditional breakfast dish. I have yet to see anyone outside of the South eat shrimp and grits for breakfast, together. I have seen – and eaten – grits for breakfast many a time. But, with shrimp? And I’m not entirely against that idea, considering that I have eaten – and will eat again – Pho for breakfast. And steak. And cold fried chicken straight out of the refrigerator. But, me thinks we’re getting off topic.
Since I don’t eat shrimp and grits for breakfast, I figured I also didn’t have to follow a recipe. The idea for this recipe came from necessity, much like the original recipe. My best friend didn’t have a damn thing in her pantry – that’s actually pretty rare for her – and we were trying to make something quick so we could dive into her swimming pool. She didn’t have stock, so I used some orange-tangerine juice. I couldn’t access andouille, so I used Spanish chorizo. I couldn’t access collard greens, I used red Swiss Chard. I was “winging” it as they say. It’ll all turned out for the better, but I still wanted to rethink the recipe and put my own Puerto Rican spin on it. What easier way than to add sofrito and sazon? What’s great about this recipe is that it can be managed in less than 30-minutes, you don’t have to add onions and garlic because those ingredients are already in the sofrito, it gets its heat from the sambal and the citrus provides a brightness that makes this dish feel light.
- 1 lb shrimp; cleaned and deveined
- 1 head red swiss chard, washed and trimmed
- 1/2 cp orange juice
- 3 TB butter
- 1 TB sofrito (or one cube if you froze your sofrito)
- 1/2 tsp sazon
- 1/2 tsp sambal
- salt and pepper
- Start your grits first. I use Alber's and follow the box instructions.
- Over medium heat, melt a TB of butter in a stainless steel saute pan. In this same pan, saute your chard for around 2-3 minutes, the leaves will be wilted and still a nice size. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan, set aside and keep covered so they stay warm.
- Over medium-high heat, melt another TB in the same saute pan. Place your shrimp in pan with butter and saute for one-minute until a crust forms, flip, saute for another minute; shrimp should be slightly pink with a crust. Remove from pan, set aside and keep covered so they stay warm.
- In the same saute pan, melt 1TB of butter over medium-high heat. Pour in half of your orange juice, sofrito, sazon, sambal, salt and pepper and let reduce; 1-3 minutes. When the orange juice is looks sticky and the sofrito has completely melted, add the rest of your orange juice. Taste. Add salt and pepper accordingly.
- Plate your grits. Add your chard and shrimp over your grits. With a spoon, ladle your orange juice mixture over your chard and grits. Serve immediately.
I use Alber's instant grits. I know there are better quality, heirloom, stone-ground grits that I could mail order. But, my mom uses Albers and my grandma used it as well. It's the only brand I use.
Buying deveined and cleaned shrimp saves so much time, and I don't really think there's much difference in purchase cost.