Shrimp and “Grits” with Ginger BBQ Sauce

Bags of frozen shrimp are one of my favorite kitchen staples, and they often lead to last minute meals that turn out pretty great. A few weeks ago, I bought molasses, anticipating using it in brown bread. My brown bread ended up not calling for molasses, but I started thinking of other recipes for this classic ingredient.


Spicy BBQ sauce was the first thing that came to mind. I started with about a cup of organic cider vinegar and several tablespoons of tomato paste.

apple cider vinegar

Fun fact: my nana drinks organic apple cider vinegar. I can’t do it because I think it tastes gross, but she is rollin’ up on 97 this November, so she must be doing something right!

Cider vinegar makes a great base for a BBQ sauce. I mixed the tomato paste and vinegar in a pot with about a cup of water. I used the vinegar bottle as a vessel for the water to get as much flavoring from the vinegar as possible.

I brought the vinegar and tomato paste to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the paste, then added two large spoonfuls of molasses, about a teaspoon of garlic powder, and two large jalapenos, chopped.

homemade bbq sauce

Toward the end I also added about a tablespoon of grated ginger. I am obsessed with ginger these days, ginger in food, ginger tea, ginger beer in Dark & Stormy’s. Love it!

grated ginger

I made the sauce the night before finishing the dish to ensure the flavors all got together. It was divinely spicy and sweet with a tang from the vinegar.

When I was ready to cook dinner, I peeled and cleaned about two dozen shrimp.


Then I popped the shrimp into the sauce and let them hang out for about half an hour.

marinated shrimp

enriched farina

While the shrimp marinated, I got my “grits” going. I used the Trader Joe’s version of Cream of Wheat, a hot cereal I have been loving lately. I enjoy the texture SO much more than oatmeal, and I thought, why not add it to dinner?


I cooked up a pot of the wheat cereal, and in a separate pot cooked the shrimp in BBQ sauce. To serve, I spooned the cereal into bowls and topped it with heaping ladles of BBQ sauce and shrimp. The sauce sunk down into the soft, creamy cereal, flavoring it, making it a little soupy, and just becoming a bowl of spicy comfort.

I am still cold, even though the weather has gotten nicer, so dishes like this will likely be on the blog for a few more weeks.

What are your plans to enjoy the warmer temps this weekend?

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Tags: BBQ, Food, recipe, sauce, shrimp

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    After such a lazy Friday where Bret and I cancelled our dinner reservations to stay in and sleep, I’m looking forward to a productive weekend. I’m hoping to go for a run today and out for dinner tonight!


  2. Raija’s avatar

    I have a bag of shrimp in my freezer right now!! The other staples I may need to pick up. And I have heard similar great things about apple cider vinegar from Abby — I’ve used a tablespoon with hot water as a little tea type drink, and I like that.


  3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    That looks great! Very creative. I’ve always wanted to try grits.


  4. Megan’s avatar

    I have heard that drinking apple cider vinegar when you are sick helps you get better faster. Your nana must be on to something.

    I went for a run this morning! Just 1 mile… but still good for me considering I haven’t run at all in probably a year. And tomorrow I’m hoping to do it again, maybe head over to Wilson Farm, and also check out an ice cream party. It should be a really fun, warm day!


  5. Elizabeth’s avatar

    I drink that exact apple cider vinegar too! It’s a homeopathic remedy for several ailments. I can tell you more sometime if you’re interested.


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