Low Country Shrimp And Grits

Shrimp and grits began as a simple dish, first appearing in South Carolina as a dish called breakfast shrimp.
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CHARLOTTE – There are many documented stories of how Shrimp and Grits came about.  Some tell the tale of fisherman near Shem Creek that would have a hearty meal of spicy shrimp over hominy before a long day on the trawler.  Another speaks of a Chef from Chapel Hill in the 80’s popularizing the dish that so excited folks, that even, Craig Claiborne of The New York Times visited in 1985 that eventually lead to publishing his recipe in the publication.  This recipe included thinks like sautéed mushrooms.  The recipe below is more traditional from the Low Country and has a bit of a kick at the end to suffice that spicy need.  So put on some low country music of Jimmy Buffett  “Coast of Carolina”, do some Shaggin and Enjoy!

Low Country Shrimp and Grits (serves 4-6)

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | On the Table: 45 Minutes


2# Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined- Tail Off 31-40  | 12oz. Applewood Smoked Bacon

1 large Lemon    | ½ stick of Butter |  2 tablespoon Garlic, minced  |  8 shots Tabasco

1 small Onion, diced | 1 medium Red Pepper- Red, diced   | 3 tablespoon Parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper | 6 oz. Chardonnay White Wine


Anson Mills Stone Ground Grits cooked with milk and butter | Scallions and Parmesan or Shredded Cheddar to garnish


First, you want to cook your Anson Mills grits, these are not quick grits and take time and effort to make right.  You should follow the recipe on the bag but use 50/50 water to milk instead of all water.  Finish with a couple of tablespoons of chilled butter, a pinch of fine ground back pepper and sea salt.  This needs to set aside, covered for 20 minutes and should be slightly thick prior to resting.

For the Shrimp, you want to use a large sauté pan and first, on medium heat, render off the bacon grease while cooking the bacon to somewhat crispy.  Once you have, remove the bacon, turn on the heat to medium high and add in the onion and peppers.  Bandy about for 2 minutes.  As soon as you see a small amount caramelization on the onions, add in the shrimp, cayenne pepper, garlic and bacon. Sauté until the shrimp is almost pink.  Deglaze your pan with the white wine, followed by the juice of the lemon.  Once the liquid has reduced by ½, reduce heat to low, cube your butter swirl the butter in with a wooden spoon until it has dissolved into the sauce.  This method- “monte au beurre” is a classic way to make a pan sauce (there will be a test later….).  Once your sauce is made, sprinkle in the chopped parsley and Tabasco and mix for 15 seconds.  Remove for the heat and get ready to serve!

For service and place a large scope of grits in a wide bowl, stud the grits with shrimp and pour some of the sauce, peppers, onions etc. on top.  Garnish with a small amount of parmesan or cheddar cheese and think cut scallions.  Share meals together, Food is Life, Food is Love!

Chef Glenn is a corporate chef based in Waxhaw- please send any feedback to chefglenncolumnist@gmail.com

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Chef Glenn
Glenn started his culinary career at the tender age of 14 in Baltimore, Maryland and was nourished by his Grandmothers love of cooking. Glenn trained at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Graduated with honors at Baltimore International Culinary College. Glenn's thirst for use of local and indigenous foods go back to his early years being raised near the Chesapeake Bay Region of Maryland. Throughout history, Food is a part of life, celebrations, fellowship and community and even in one's passing. Food is LIFE! Food is LOVE!