Shrimp and Grits: The Lowcountry staple has been around for more than 100 years and you can hardly visit a restaurant these days without seeing it on the menu. In 2011, Shrimp & Grits was the most popular dish served at weddings across the United States.
The cookbook, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, says the first printed copy of the original recipe, titled “Shrimp and Hominy,” was located in the 1930 edition of Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking. Many variations of the recipe exist today, but one thing is certain: a recipe is only as good as the quality of ingredients.
We’re especially blessed in Statesboro to live in the coastal plains where wild Georgia shrimp is easy to come by and Georgia farmers are aplenty, producing those healthful vegetables like sweet red bell pepper and jalapenos that accompany the special sauce in my shrimp and grits recipe. Statesboro is even home to Freeman’s Mill–stone grinding grits and corn meal daily. Here’s a tip: When cooking grits, always take the opportunity to layer in depth of flavor. Instead of using water, try milk or broth. I love the creamy texture milk gives grits and the flavor of them when they’re cooked in chicken or beef broth. That special touch takes the dish from mediocre to restaurant quality faster than you can say “Go Eagles.”
Whenever possible, shop local. Nothing beats sitting down to a meal grown on Georgia ground, planted by the hands of people in our own community and supporting the local farmers. One visit to the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market, and you’ll be well on your way to cooking my recipe for Shrimp & Grits with a White Wine Sauce featuring Hunter Cattle Company’s hardwood smoked bacon and Prosser’s Wholesale Shrimp in Brooklet.
Open every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market is chock-full of everything you need to get cookin’.
Here’s my recipe. Enjoy!
Shrimp & Grits with a White Wine Sauce
- 1 pound of Prosser’s Wholesale Wild Georgia Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Freeman’s Mill Stone Ground Grits or (Jim Dandy Grits in pinch!)
- Chicken Broth, heavy cream for finishing
- 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese per every two cups grits
- 6 Slices Thick cut, Hickory Smoked Hunter Cattle Company Bacon
- Half of 1 medium Sweet Vidalia Onion
- 1 Large clove of Garlic, minced
- 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
- 2 Tbs white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Green onion or chives for garnish
Cook shrimp in about 2 Tbs. of olive oil until they turn pink. Season with Old Bay. Cook grits according to package directions using the appropriate amount of chicken broth, depending on the portion size you’re serving. Season grits with salt & pepper, then add butter and stir in Parmesan cheese. Stir in a splash or two of heavy cream for added richness. Meanwhile, cook approximately six slices of bacon. Drain on paper towels. Pour off bacon grease, reserving 2 Tbs. to sauté vegetables. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring. Add garlic last. Once vegetables have married together, deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add heavy cream and let come to a simmer, stirring constantly. To plate, spoon grits in a bowl, top with white wine sauce and surround grits around the perimeter of the bowl with about 10 shrimp per serving. Garnish with green onion or chives.