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Nuevo Latino Shrimp and Grits

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

A garlicky chipotle-spiked marinade for the shrimp and a verdant tomatillo and cilantro salsa give this dish some Latin flair. You’ll make more salsa than you need, but that’s good news: It’s great with steak, over asparagus, or in tacos. It also freezes beautifully.


For the shrimp

  • 1 7-oz. can chipotles in adobo
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed for cooking
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground annatto seeds (also called achiote molido; see Tip)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. extra-jumbo (16 to 20 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on, if you like)
  • Chopped microgreens or chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

For the salsa verde

  • 1/2 lb. tomatillos (about 5 small), husked, rinsed with warm water, and quartered
  • 2 oz. fresh cilantro (about 1/2 bunch), tough stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeño, trimmed and sliced, with seeds, if you like heat
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the grits

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grits, preferably white and stone ground
  • 3 oz. manchego, coarsely grated (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 small poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 270
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 90
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 135
  • Sodium (mg): 540
  • Carbohydrates (g): 26
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 19


Marinate the shrimp

  • In a blender or small food processor, purée the chipotles with their sauce.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, 2 tsp. of the chipotle purée (save the rest for another use), the annatto seeds, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, tossing the shrimp occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours.

Make the salsa

  • Put the tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbs. water in a blender, and pulse until combined. With the machine running, slowly add the oil and blend until combined. If the salsa is very thick, add up to another 2 Tbs. water.

Cook the grits

  • Bring 2-1/2 cups water with 1 tsp. salt to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the grits in a thin stream, and cook until the grits start to thicken a bit, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, adjusting the heat as necessary, and adding more water as needed 1/4 cup at a time, until the grits are thick and tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in the cheese, cream, butter, and poblanos. Season to taste with salt, and keep warm.

Cook the shrimp and serve

  • Remove the shrimp from the marinade.
  • Heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook, flipping once until just pink throughout, 4 to 5 minutes total. Remove immediately and keep the shrimp warm.
  • If the grits have thickened, add a little warm water to loosen them. Divide the grits among shallow bowls, and top with 2 to 3 Tbs. of the salsa verde and the shrimp. Garnish with the microgreens or cilantro, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The salsa can sit at room temperature for up to 4 hours and can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Let warm at room temperature before serving.


Many supermarkets carry annatto seeds, whole and ground; if you can find only whole, you can grind them yourself in a spice grinder or a coffee grinder designated for spices.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Hig87 | 06/17/2019

    Delicious dish!
    Some 'components' of the dish - everyone snacks on a shrimp along the way, right!? - have a slight spice but once assembled, the cool and refreshing salsa calms and balances the flavors perfectly. Great dish and one you'll be glad you made. Thank you FC!

  • Ashleytenhoeve | 05/04/2017

    This was so delicious. I wouldn't change a thing.

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