Sara’s Shrimp and Grit Cakes


This is a recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine and also shown on Martha’s television show.

Makes 24 cakes

6 cups water
2 1/2 cups quick grits
5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced scallions
12 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
Vegetable oil for sauteing
1/2 cup Seven Pepper Jelly

1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Butter a 13-by 18-inch rimmed baking sheet. Slowly sprinkle the grits into boiling water, stirring constantly with a whisk. reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and scallions.

2. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheet and smooth out to 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter , lightly mark 24 circles into the grits. Press a shrimp half into each circle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

3. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a small bowl. Using the cookie cutter, cut the grits into rounds, using the marked circles. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a large skillet and enough oil to lightly cover the bottom over medium-high heat. Dredge each cake into the flour mixture and saute( about 8 at a time) until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Wipe the skillet clean and repeat the process until all the cakes are cooked. Top each with a scant teaspoon of the jelly and a few minced scallions for garnish and serve warm.