Traditional Shrimp and Grits Recipe

The creamiest grits you've ever had.
January 6, 2020, 12:00pm
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


for the shrimp and grits:
1/2 cup|80 grams all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 ounces|60 grams country ham, preferably Bob Wood's, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 pound|450 grams (21/25) count shrimp, preferably local, peeled and deveined
4 ounces|114 grams small button mushrooms, washed, dried, and quartered
1/4 cup|10 grams thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup|125 ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 recipe Stovetop Grits

for the grits:
1 (32-ounce|1-liter bottle) spring water
1 cup|155 grams Anson Mills Rosebank Gold Grits
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce


1. Combine the water and grits in a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

2. Use a fine-mesh sieve to skim off any hulls or chaff from the surface of the water, being careful not to disturb the water too much so that none of the bits sink back into the grits. Transfer the grits and their soaking water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. Then continue to boil, stirring, until the starch in the corn is hydrated and the grits thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the stove, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes to let the grits relax.

3. Uncover the grits, add the bay leaf, and cook over low heat, stirring often, until very soft and tender, about 1 hour. Taste the grits every 15 minutes or so to check their progress.

4. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl, mix well, and set aside. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the ham, and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat has rendered and the ham is crisp, about 3 minutes.

5. Lightly dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess and carefully add them to the hot skillet. Cook until lightly browned on the first side, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp, add the mushrooms and scallions, and cook until the other side of the shrimp is lightly browned and the mushrooms and scallions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until it has reduced by half and the shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter and lemon juice and season lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the grits from the heat, remove and discard the bay leaf, and stir in the salt, white pepper, butter, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Give them a good stir, then divide them among warmed bowls. Spoon the shrimp and mushrooms, with their broth, on top.

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AUTHOR'S NOTE: This recipe has been reprinted with permission of the author from South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations.