13 May 2011

Shrimp & Grits

I grew up on grits. yum. How could I not...I was raised by a Southern belle and grits are truly a Southern staple. Thanks to author, Deborah Ford, the women in my family are also known as G.R.I.T.S, "Girls Raised In The South." For those of you who are unfamiliar with grits, Native Americans introduced the ground corn dish to the Southern region...it is delish! The only thing better than a couple of pats of butter over a bowl of grits is SHRIMP and grits! Next to my mother's grits dishes, the city of Atlanta has served up the best shrimp and grits (and cheese grits for that matter) I have ever had. Multiple restaurants all over Peachtree know how to do it just right.

If you are not fortunate enough to be reading this in Atlanta, you can always bring the flavor of the South into your kitchen. Ms. Paula Deen provides a very easy recipe for shrimp and grits that takes a total of 35 minutes, start to finish.


2 servings cooked grits

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced tasso ham*

2 tablespoons diced leeks

2 tablespoons diced onion

2 tablespoons diced green peppers

20 medium to large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, with tails on

1 to 2 tablespoons white wine

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Green onion tops, chopped

*Cook's Note: Tasso is a Cajun ham and is often hard to find outside of Louisiana, but you can find it at some specialty gourmet shops or by mail order. If not, you can substitute salt pork, pancetta, or prosciutto, but you will have to beef up your seasonings, as tasso is very flavorful.


Cook grits according to package directions; set aside and keep warm.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tasso and saute until crisp. Add diced vegetables and saute until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and saute for 30 to 45 seconds, or until pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine. Slowly add the cream and let reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Divide grits among 2 serving plates. Line plate edges with shrimp (10 shrimp per serving). Pour sauce over grits. Garnish with green onion tops.

For a great wedding idea, use martini glasses to serve shrimp and grits, with the grits on the bottom and shrimp and sauce on top.

with preppiness,