Shrimp and Grits

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shrimp and grits

When my daughter was a baby I decided I needed an adventure. My sister-in-law Jessica had started working for Delta Airlines and gave us a couple buddy passes. When I was a kid, my uncle worked for an airline and buddy passes worked great. You walked to the gate, gave them the pass and walked on the flight. Buddy Passes are much different now.

We still paid a lot for our tickets and then we waited ALL DAY in the airport trying to get on a flight. We had almost given up hope, but we finally made it.

We flew to Charleston SC. I wanted to go somewhere new and worked with a girl who was from South Carolina. She not only recommended we go to Charleston in the first place, but she also provided me with a list of places we must eat. One of the yummiest things I have ever eaten was Shrimp and Grits at a Charleston restaurant.

We had an awesome time once we got there. The heat index was only 118. I was a sweaty mess! We saw many incredible sites including plantations, the beach, aquariums and Fort Sumpter (where the Civil War started).

Before our trip, I had never heard of Lowcountry cusine. But before I left, I made sure to get a cookbook featuring Lowcountry recipes. This dish was so amazing, I knew I would make it over and over again.

The flavor packed shrimp “gravy” is spooned over cheesy grits. Grilled corn and delicious tomatoes add their fabulosity. And bacon rounds out the all-star cast.

My favorite way to prepare the corn is to chuck the whole cob, with the husk still intact, on the grill.  Then I let the cobs get nice and toasty. (Sometimes the husk burns away and leaves little charred spots on the corn, that can be delicious, if they aren’t too charred.) I used to soak the corn, but found it didn’t really help that much. Now i just throw it on a preheated grill and wait about 15 minutes, turning every so often. Make sure you let them cool a little before trying to peel them. They get pretty hot!

Then just cut the corn off the cob and you are set.

Grilling Corn

Shrimp and Grits

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Shrimp and Grits


    For the Shrimp Gravy
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped and browned, save 2 tablespoons of the drippings
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons blackening seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • about 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, either cherry tomatoes halved, or chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • For the Grits
  • 1 cup grits (not instant)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese.
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter


    For the Shrimp Gravy
  1. Put 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a large saute pan. Turn the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and the blackening seasoning. Saute stirring often until garlic is fragrant and soft. Add the shrimp. All them to sit in the pan untouched for 1 minute.
  2. Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the corn and tomatoes to the pan and stir to incorporate. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Let simmer about 5 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly.
  4. Add butter and stir until incorporated.
  5. Add shrimp back to the gravy.
  6. For the Grits
  7. Bring water and milk to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add salt
  8. Sprinkle grits over liquid and stir to eliminate any lumps.
  9. Cover pan and allow to cook until soft about 15 minutes. Stir every few minutes, making sure to get the corners and sides of the pan.
  10. Fold in cheese and pepper/
  11. Keep covered until serving. Just prior to serving fluff it up a bit and add the butter.
  12. To Assemble
  13. Place a large scoop of grits in the bottom of a bowl or on a plate. Spoon the shrimp gravy over the grits, making a well or indentation.

Recipe Source: Adapted from  Alton Brown’s Cheese Grits and Lowcountry Cooks Cookbook

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