Easy dinner recipes: Creamy grits ideas with shrimp and cheese

It doesn't get much simpler than shrimp and grits.

But Bar / Kitchen at the O Hotel takes this classic comfort food to new heights, with large Mexican shrimp cooked in a rich creamy sauce spiced with minced Spanish Bilbao chorizo and a helping of Sriracha hot sauce. Spooned atop cheesy stone-ground grits, it's heaven on a plate.

Looking for something a little more traditional? Try the grits from the Old Firehouse Restaurant in Hollywood, S.C. Large shrimp are tossed with a little garlic, country ham and baked with butter to succulent tenderness. Plate the shrimp over a large spoonful of rich, creamy grits and serve hot. Best of all? The whole dish comes together in only 40 minutes. No, it doesn't get any better than this.

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

If you're looking to keep it simple (and vegetarian), you can't beat a bowl of creamy cheesy grits from "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" by Ree Drummond. Cook the grits, then fold in rich egg, a little garlic, a touch of cayenne and a healthy dose of grated sharp cheddar (you can substitute almost any cheese -- use what you like) and you have a taste of heaven on a plate. The whole dish comes together in less than an hour.

You can find all three recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

BAR / KITCHEN'S SHRIMP AND GRITS

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Servings: 4 to 8

Note: Adapted from Bar / Kitchen in Los Angeles. While this recipe calls for stone-ground grits, regular grits may be substituted, though they will not require as much cooking time or liquid; instant grits should not be substituted.

Grits

6 cups milk

1 cup stone-ground grits

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits to avoid any lumps. Stir in the salt and pepper.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer the grits, stirring occasionally, until they start to thicken, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, a little at a time. Gently simmer, stirring frequently to keep the grits from scorching, until the grits are softened and thickened, about 30 to 45 additional minutes. Slowly stir in the Parmesan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired.