[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I know this dish sounds like a joke, but before you dismiss it right away, let me try and convince you. This is actually a riff on a kale and grit taco I had recently at Bullhead Cantina in Chicago. The whole time I was devouring that taco, I wondered why it worked so well. Grits, after all, are made of corn, and so are corn tortillas. Yet the two play so well off each other, doubling down on the sweetness. And while the greens were great, the whole time I wanted to know how shrimp would perform.

Stunningly well, is the answer. The shrimp provide a pop of texture and juiciness to each bite, which helps cut through the cheesy grits. Instead of trying to create a separate salsa to add on at the end, I decided to combine the salsa and shrimp. I created a very simple tomato salsa using some sweet cherry tomatoes and spicy serranos, and then tossed the cooked shrimp in at the end. Like I said: I know this shouldn't work, but it does, and this won't be the last time I make this recipe.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: