Fried Shrimp and Pimiento Cheese Grits Cakes


With three of our best-loved foods wrapped up in one package, we can’t get enough of these cheesy cakes.

Fried Shrimp and Pimiento Cheese Grits Cakes
Serves: 12
  • 1½ pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cooked
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups quick-cooking grits*
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • Pimiento Cheese (recipe follows)
  • 3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil, letting excess extend over sides of pan; spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Refrigerate 12 shrimp in a small bowl; chop remaining shrimp.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, bring 4 cups water, broth, 2 teaspoons salt, onion powder, hot sauce, and pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in grits until well combined. Reduce heat, and simmer until grits are tender and thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in chopped shrimp, cheese, pimientos, cream, butter, and thyme, until cheese is melted. Spread into prepared pan; let cool slightly.
  5. Gently press reserved 12 shrimp into top of grits mixture, evenly spaced apart. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving corners slightly open to vent. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 8 hours.
  6. Using excess foil as handles, remove from pan, and peel foil from sides of grits. Using a serrated knife, cut into 12 portions.
  7. In a large deep cast-iron skillet, pour oil to a depth of ½ inch, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360° (adjust heat to medium, if necessary).
  8. In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Dredge cakes in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
  9. Fry cakes in batches (do not overcrowd skillet), until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove cakes using a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with Pimiento Cheese.
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
*We used Lakeside Yellow Grits.