Easy Grilled Shrimp with Grits, Harissa, and Padron Peppers

July 1, 2014

Weeknight grilling never got easier than with this ready-in-minutes shrimp and grits recipe. It combines two favorites of the American South - shrimp and grits - with the spicy heat of North Africa. Harissa is to Northern Africa as Tabasco is to many American tables and is used much in the same way - to kick your dish up a notch! It’s a beautifully bold condiment consisting of caraway, coriander, cumin, guajillo chiles, smoked paprika, garlic and sometimes salt. If you’re looking to add smoky and spice to your dishes then you’ll love harissa. Use it on couscous, grilled meats, mixed into soups and stews, or drizzled over plain yogurt for a savory dish. Some varieties are spicier than others, so find a blend that suits your palate. Our favorite is a dry blend from World Spice Merchants that we mix with water and/or olive oil (you can order from them here).

This easy shrimp recipe literally takes just minutes to make. Simply grill shrimp, lightly coat them in harissa and serve over warm grits. Drizzle more harissa over the entire dish and garnish with freshly chopped green onions. You could also use quick cooking polenta. Padrón peppers are in season (small, sweet and typically mild Spanish peppers), so we roasted up a few, sprinkled them with Murray River Flake Salt (or kosher salt) and tossed them on the plate with our shrimp. Get the recipe and instructions below.

Easy Grilled Shrimp with Grits, Harissa, and Padron Peppers
Serves 4

Alternative cooking method: Don't have a barbecue? Simply sauté the shrimp in a pan and skip the grill!

1 pound large shrimp (we used 16/20 count in size), deveined with tails on
Olive oil or cooking spray
3/4 cup quick cooking grits
Water or chicken stock (for cooking grits)3-4 green onions (green part only), sliced on the diagonal
Harissa, store-bought or our favorite blend from World Spice Merchants *See note below.
Optional: padron peppers or any grilled pepper or vegetables

Clean and devein shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a skewer (like below), drizzle with olive oil or cooking spray, and grill until they just turn pink (about 3-5 minutes total depending on size).

Cook grits according to package instructions. Use water or chicken stock for added flavor. While grits are cooking, slice green onions and set aside.

Divide grits among Remove shrimp from skewers and dip in enough harissa to coat. Place on top of each plate of grits. To garnish, drizzle a bit more harissa over each dish and add green onions.

Serve with grilled peppers or vegetables (optional).

*Note: Harissa can come in a paste or in dry form. If using a paste, you may need to thin it a bit with hot water and olive oil to get to a consistency where you can drizzle it. Same with a dry blend, simply use enough liquid to reach a desired consistency.


Raw Shrimp on Skewers

Padrón Peppers