Shrimp & Grits Recipe
There's a few moving parts and pieces to this dish in order to get it right. But, when it all comes together let's just say... it's well worth it.
I went to the source... a local that's famous for his Shrimp & Grits. And judging by the fact that reservations were required three days in advance, that pretty well tells the story of his success. More on this later. Let's get down to the dish.

There's six basic steps required to make the dish (in this order)...

1. Boil your greens.
2. Make cheese grits.
3. Sauté a few simple ingredients.
4. Whip up some bechamel sauce.
5. Blacken the shrimp.
6. Crack a beer and eat.

Let's do this.
Here's a look at some of the ingredients you'll need (minus the shrimp)

60mins (for your first time)

I've broken the ingredients and prep down by step to make it easier to follow and included a source list at the bottom for the major products marked with an *.
2 big bunches of collard greens washed and chopped
1/2 lb of chopped smoked ham*
16 oz chicken stock
2 cans of beer
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbls salt
2 tbls chopped roasted garlic*
1 tbls sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 chopped sweet onions
Trappeys pepper vinegar* (for serving)
Add salt, pepper, ham, garlic, and onion to a 3 - 4 quart pan. Turn heat on high and sauté until onions begin to clear.

Add chicken stock, beer, sugar, and greens. Stir. Top off the pot with water (two inches from rim). Cover and boil until done (usually an hour).

Meanwhile, get the grits in action.

Test occassionally after 45 minutes until the greens have a soft but firm texture and no bitterness.

Remove from heat. Strain. Add butter. Cover and set aside. Stir before serving.

3 cups of Old School stone ground grits*
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Add water, milk, and salt to a pot and bring to boil.

Stir the grits in slowly.

Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes stirring every now and then.

Once the grits have reached a smooth but fairly firm texture, add the cream, butter, and cheese. Stir on medium until the cheese melts and blends. Cover and remove from heat.

When you're ready to serve you simply stir up the grits. If they've gotten a bit too thick, just add a splash of warm water and stir.

Two down. Three to go.

1 cup cremini mushrooms sliced
1 cup smoked ham bits*
1 cup sliced leeks
2 tbls chopped roasted garlic
1 cup chopped roasted peppers*
1 bottle of chardonnay for deglazing
1/3 cup butter
2 tbls chicken bouillon* (paste)
Using a large sauté pan on medium heat, melt butter until it just begins to clear.

Add mushrooms, leeks, ham, and garlic. Turn heat to high.

Stir for about two minutes. Add chicken paste and continue to stir until the mushrooms begin to take on a golden / caramelized color (about four to five minutes).

Add 1/2 cup of chardonnay and stir until pan is deglazed.

Set aside and prep the shrimp.


The leek belongs to the same family as onions and garlic. They look like your typical green onion that's on steroids. All fun aside, the big difference between a leek and an onion is the flavor. Leeks tend to be much milder than an onion and are perfectly suited for a sauté like this one.

Their flavor will blend exceptionally well with the roasted garlic and mushrooms providing an "earthy" base to the sauce that comes in the next step.

2 tbls butter
2 tbls flour
1 1/2 cups cream
Make the roux (see video). Very simple. You can make a bulk batch in advance and refrigerate for future uses. It's always handy to have it available for thickening sauces.

Heat the butter in a small saucepan just unti it melts. Remove from heat. Whisk in flour until mixture is fully blended and smooth.

Reheat the sauté mixture of ham bits, leeks, garlic, and mushrooms.

Add cream and roux. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken.

Strain roasted peppers. Add to mixture. Stir.

Set aside and cook the shrimp.

2 -3 lbs fresh shrimp* (appetite dependent)
Blackened seasoning*
2 tbls butter

Clean shrimp. Remove tails (optiopnal). Pat dry.

Heat large pan on high. Just as the butter begins to turn tan, toss in handfuls of shrimp (about 1/2 pound at a time) and stir quickly. Add liberal amounts of seasoning.

Sear shrimp until they turn reddish and the seasoning begins to blacken in color.

Repeat the process until all of the shrimp are cooked.

Plate the grits. Ladel on bechamel.

Top with shrimp. Add you side of greens.


Broadbent's Smoked Ham
seasoning pieces -

Trappeys Pepper Vinegar -

Old School Stone Ground Grits -

Custom Culinary Roasted Garlic -

Mozzetta Roasted Peppers -

Better Than Bouillon -

Prudhomme's Blackened Magic -

Fresh Shrimp / Capt. Reds -

The Dish / Driftwood Bistro -

Thanks to Frank Owens Jr. of City Market Seafood and Dan Dickerson, owner of the Driftwood Bistro for supplying their time, products, and recipes.
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