David’s Creole Shrimp (or Fish) with Cheesy Grits

This is a recipe of my dad’s that he came up with in the last year or so. I made this week and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d share. I think it works better with shrimp instead of fish, but either tastes good.

David’s Creole Shrimp (or Fish) with Creamy Cheesy Grits

Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • Olive oil – approx 3 T.
  • 1 lb medium shrimp 21/25 or catfish fillets
  • 1/2 c onion medium-fine (1/4″) dice
  • 1/2 c bell pepper medium-fine dice (I prefer red/orange over green but your choice)
  • 1/2 c celery medium-fine dice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • water or broth as needed
  • 1 or more jalapeños or serrano chile (to taste)
  • green onions – sliced fine for garnish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/2 t sage
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t paprika
  • 2 t Slap Ya Mama or Old Bay seasoning optional
  • salt to taste

white grits

  • Water
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 sharp cheddar cheese or colby/jack or combo


  • Sear the shrimp or fish only on one side in a hot pan 1-2 min. in a little oil. (put some color on one side). Remove and set aside. You don’t want them cooked through. Just seared on one side.
  • Saute the onion and celery with a little salt and pepper in remaining oil until starting to soften. Reduce heat. Add garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno and saute 1-2 more minutes (until garlic is very fragrant). Add all spices and continue to saute 1-2 min. until fragrant. Add tomatoes and simmer until reduced by half (5-8 min). Add 2-4 T water or broth and continue to simmer. Keep adjusting liquid as necessary. It should be a very loose runny sauce, not thickened.
  • In the meantime, make the grits. In small saucepan, follow measurements for instant grits. I believe I did 2 c water and 1/2 c grits. You want them to be loose and creamy, not stiff. Once the grits are done, add the cheese, salt & pepper, to the grits to taste and stir to combine until smooth and creamy.
  • When the grits are done, add the shrimp or fish (and any accumluated liquid) to the pan. Raise heat to medium and finish cooking the protein. Only flip fish once to keep fillets intact. Don’t overcook the protein.
  • Put grits into a shallow bowl. Create a small well in the middle. Spoon sauce/shrimp mixture over grits making sure to have sufficient sauce. Garnish with green onions.


You could do this over polenta or on rice too.
Keyword creole, fish