Bacon Cheddar Cheese Grits w/ Red Pepper Coulis

Serves 6


Red Pepper coulis:

  • 10 oz chicken stock
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Cheddar Cheese Grits:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked grits
  • 6 large raw chopped shrimp
  • 4 tablespoons sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 slices cooked, chopped bacon
  • 4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Snapper and Shrimp:

  • 6 (6-ounce) snapper fillets, skin on
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun spice
  • 1/8 cup grapeseed oil
  • 6 large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • sliced scallions for garnish


To begin red pepper coulis, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  On the stovetop, bring the chicken stock, onion, garlic and cooking wine to a simmer in a saucepan.  Place peppers in a roasting pan and roast in the oven, checking every 15 minutes, and turning them with tongs until the skin is fully wrinkled and charred black.  When the peppers are done, use tongs to put them in a (thick – freezer type) resealable bag which (for safety reasons) you have resting on a plate (remember – they are volcanically hot!).  Carefully close the bag shut and allow them to sweat for 5 minutes.  Use oven mitts to prevent getting burned while you handle the bag in the next step of sliding the peppers from the bag into a bowl filled with a couple inches of ice water.  The bag will release a LOT of steam upon opening which could cause severe burns – please use caution.  Let soak for just a few seconds to cool to a touchable temperature.  Now you can use your fingers to quickly slip off and discard the pepper skins while they are still in the ice water.  You will be left with beautifully cooked red peppers with a wonderful color.  Chop the peppers and add them to the simmering chicken stock mixture, and continue simmering until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.  Create a slurry of cornstarch in a small amount of water and add to the red pepper sauce.  Process coulis in a blender until a smooth consistency is achieved.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the grits:  Bring the water for the grits to a boil.  Add grits, reduce heat and cook until grits are soft, about 20 minutes.  Add shrimp and allow to cook.  When shrimp turn pink, remove from heat and stir in scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, bacon and cheese and keep covered in a warm place.

For the fish:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat both sides of red snapper with salt and pepper and Cajun spice. Then on the stovetop, heat some grapeseed oil in a large non-stick saute pan, and when it begins to simmer, saute the shrimp only until they turn pink, and then remove shrimp to a utility platter. In the same pan, sear each side of the fish. (When you place the fillet into the pan, leave it undisturbed for a couple of minutes to allow the seasoning to cook into the surface of the fish.) Cook until golden brown, then finish in the oven for a further 2 to 3 minutes and remove it to rest for 5 to 8 minutes. (Please take care to avoid overcooking the fish, as it will continue to cook even after you remove it from the oven.)

Place some of the grits in the middle of a serving plate, then position a fish fillet on top and drizzle the coulis around the fish.  Top with a shrimp.  Garnish liberally with the scallions.


Click below for a pdf of:
Cajun Snapper and Shrimp