Shrimp and Grits

Sometimes I feel like Bubba Blue from “Forrest Gump” about shrimp. Fried shrimp, steamed shrimp, shrimp tacos, shrimp salad, shrimp scampi, shrimp enchiladas, shrimp alfredo, spicy shrimp – it’s so versatile, and yet sometimes I’m left feeling like I’ve tried it all. And, that’s just crazy talk!

But frankly, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d not made the southern classic shrimp and grits in my kitchen. I hadn’t even had it until I had the opportunity to visit Charleston a few months ago for the Wine + Food Festival. I mentioned something to the young woman who was managing the prep tents for tastings – just that I hoped to get a taste of some REAL grits while there in Charleston. 5 minutes later she returned to me with the perfect little portion of shrimp & grits that they were preparing for a tasting somewhere on the Festival grounds – and it was divine. She even brought me a tub of grits milled locally on nearby Edisto Island to take home. How sweet was that? I swear, it’s the most hospitable city in the world!

Matt & Ted Lee also released their new cookbook during the festival. I had the opportunity to attend a book signing that they did, and I completely embarrassed myself proclaiming my love for their Pork Tenderloin with Madiera Fig Gravy (it’s life changing). They were all that they seemed, completely down to Earth – and just plain cool.

The Lee Bros

And of course the cookbook is fabulous. Their recipes never let me down, and this one is no exception. I loved the addition of fresh pureed tomatoes in the sauce. It adds such a bright note to a dish that’s teeming with porky savoryness and shrimpy goodness. I did add a little bit of finely diced green pepper – just because I had a half of one in the fridge. And many other recipes I’d seen incorporated it as an ingredient. And the grits – the grits! In the name of all things Holy, they were delicious. While I always associated grits with the gruel like substance on breakfast buffets, these were a world away. Perfectly thick and creamy, and just the right bed for these delicious saucy shrimp.

So, needless to say – I’m completely sold on the shrimp and grits thing. This dish will definitely be on our menu rotation relatively often. Big thanks to the good people of Charleston for introducing me to this new favorite! Now to go mail-order some more Geechie Boy Mills grits – we’ll be out before we know it! 

8 Comments

  1. Posted May 13, 2013 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Mmm, love shrimp and grits! It’s so hard to get good shrimp out here. :( I was craving home so bad yesterday that my husband bought me frozen popcorn shrimp – that’s as good as it gets here! Saving this recipe for when we (hopefully) move back to the water!

    • Posted May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

      You clearly just need to bring the fam to the beach for a vacay. Tell the hubs there’s plenty of scrapple!

  2. Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Looks gorgeous and happy (belated) mother’s day! I LOVED the shrimp and grits I had in Charleston and am looking for a good excuse to make some myself…I think I found that excuse ;) your picture is to die for. I want to go grab a fork!

  3. Elaine Tsai
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Good day Laura:

    This recipe sounds wonderful but out here in the high desert where it will be 100 today, grits are unheard of. I can probably buy grits at Walmart and I’m not sure if my hubby will eat them, but he always game for anything new. Thank you for posting the recipe, I will give it a go later this week.
    Regards,
    Elaine

    • Posted May 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

      Elaine, I think it would be equally as wonderful on rice or mashed potatoes – if you had a hard time finding course ground grits!

  4. Posted May 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    I am so drooling right now! Unfortunately, here in Northern California it is almost impossible to find fresh shrimp or grits. A girl can dream though :)

  5. Posted May 15, 2013 at 2:31 AM | Permalink

    I have been looking for this recipe. If you can’t find grits, polenta makes a really great substitute. (I did say substitute, so all you Southerners don’t be mad.) :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    I made this a few nights ago. It was absolutely fantastic!
    Much thanks!

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