Crispy Shrimp N Grits Bars


Shrimp and grits is a southern classic, particularly in the gulf area around Louisiana. And there are so many variations! Some have a spanish inspired sofrito sauce, others will be a cream sauce made with roux, Cajun style. Still others might have a brown sauce. There are so many variations its hard to find a new one, but I think this creation will have that covered. It’s an Italian and Cajun fusion that takes shrimp and grits and makes it into something compact thats great for a snack or appetizer, or just as good as a nice breakfast or lunch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup dry polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup small cocktail shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tsp old bay seasonings
  • butter or Pam
  • olive oi
  • ½ pint pack grape tomatoes
  • additional old bay, parsley and shredded cheese for garnish


1Butter an 8 inch baking pan and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and season with just a little old bay. Slowly add in the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Once the polenta is fully incorporated reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in the cheese. Add the shrimp (you can use pre cooked or raw shrimp, if they are raw the heat of the polenta will cook them) and parsley last and turn off the heat.

2Pour the polenta into the buttered baking pan and let it cool for about 15 minutes before refrigerating for 2 hours or overnight. Once its settled and firmed up you can flip the pan upside down onto a cutting board to get the polenta out, or cut it into 9 bars and remove with a spatula.

3When you want to fry up your bars, pour olive oil into a skillet for frying and heat on medium high. Add the cut bars, keeping space between them, and set a paper towel aside to drain them. When the polenta browns slightly on the edges flip it over and add the grape tomatoes. When the other side of the polenta is browned remove it from the pan to drain.

4Plate the polenta and remove the fried tomatoes with a slotted spoon, letting the oil drain off before scattering them over the polenta. Finish with a sprinkle of old bay, fresh parsley, and cheddar cheese. While this could be cooked for any meal, I like to make this the night before and serve it as a quick breakfast. You can throw on some chopped tomato and green onion or sofrito sauce as well, whatever you want to do will be great with this.