Tag Archives: Grits

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

This is my first time participating in Brunch Week, so thank you for accepting me into the group! I’m thrilled to be here. We have some lovely sponsors for the week, including the one I’m highlighting today: Cabot Cheese.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

But, and I say this with one hundred percent seriousness, I had already committed to the idea of sharing a version of shrimp and grits even before finding out about Cabot’s participation. I absolutely adore shrimp and grits, in pretty much any form. Except maybe the overcooked shrimp versions. Those we can all do without. Anywho…

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

There are about as many variations on shrimp and grits as there are fiends for the dish, and while I have zero complaints about a well-executed stripped down version, for Brunch Week I decided it had to be a bit more complex and special. This particular recipe features spicy Andouille sausage mingling with the shrimp which forms a bit of a saucy topping for the firmer-yet-luscious grits, and then it’s drizzled with an even spicier yet creamy actual sauce on top.

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

This was so delicious, so special and completely perfect to kick start Brunch Week. Stay tuned, there is much excitement to come! Enjoy!

Shrimp and Andouille Cheddar Grits with Hot Pepper Cream Sauce

Source: slightly adapted from Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp and Grits by Nathalie Dupree


1/3 cup green vinegar-based hot sauce, such as green Tabasco
¼ cup dry white wine
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Drizzle of olive oil, plus more as needed
8 oz. raw Andouille sausage, casings removed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ cup minced onion, such as Vidalia
4 tsp chopped garlic
30 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

5 cups water
3 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
8 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups coarse grits, not instant
8 oz. sharp white Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Start with the CREAM SAUCE: combine the green hot sauce, wine, shallot, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Set aside.

Now make the SHRIMP: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and crumble it with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook, stirring frequently, until no traces of pink remain. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until veggies are tender. Add the shrimp, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, and Old Bay seasoning. Saute, stirring, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Be aware of how much salt your Cajun and Old Bay seasonings may already have. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Now make the GRITS: bring the water, milk, cream and butter to a simmer in a medium-to-large stockpot. Gradually whisk in the grits. Stir frequently, until the grits are soft and thickened. This will take at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour depending on what brand of grits you are using. When the grits are ready, turn the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese until it melts. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.

To serve, rewarm the cream sauce and shrimp. Spoon the grits into bowls and top with the shrimp and andouille sauce. Now top with the hot pepper cream sauce and serve immediately.

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Check out my fellow #BrunchWeek bloggers! Some very tasty recipes here!

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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Tilapia with Chile Butter and Ricotta Grits Cakes

This is Part 3 of the Dining at Bar Americain series.
Part 1: Chocolate Crepes with Rum Whipped Cream
Part 2: Shrimp and Grits
Part 4: Molasses Mustard Pork Chops
Part 5: Roast Chicken with Honey Mustard Black Pepper Sauce and Hatch Chile Spoonbread

This was the entrée I ordered at Bar Americain.  It’s actually supposed to be made with skate wing, not tilapia.  That was how I had it at the restaurant, and that’s how it is written in the cookbook.  Skate is related to sting rays, and the edible part is its wing.  I really enjoy skate; it looks a lot like a thin white fish, and the taste is very similar.  It’s a flavor blank slate, so you can spice crust it, sauce it up, marinate it lightly, whatever you want.  The texture is what makes skate so awesome.  It’s lighter and almost airier than white fish, if that makes sense.  It is moist and tender and all around amazing.  I love it and I don’t hesitate to order the skate dish on restaurant menus when available.  However, it can be difficult to locate in grocery stores and fish monger stores.

Case in point – I couldn’t find it at Fairway.  I asked the seafood counter manager if they happened to have any, and he quite literally asked me if I was crazy.  While you might initially think he was being very rude, he actually knows Matt and me since we’ve been shopping at Fairway for years now, so it’s okay.  But, no, they didn’t have any skate.  So I subbed in tilapia, and I think it worked well.  Matt even said he liked the tilapia better than the skate.  I told him I think he’s crazy. 🙂

So let’s talk grits cakes.  Those are just little round bites of perfection if there ever were any.  These use ricotta and parmesan, which is very tasty, and inspiring: it got me thinking of all the Cheddar and pepper jack possibilities that now must be in my future.  The book instructs to drain them on paper towels, which we did, only to find them sticking to said paper towels.  I’m not sure what the more elegant solution is.  They did come off, but slowly and with a few small tears.  If anyone knows a better way, please share in the comments section.

Moral of the story: if you can find skate, please do use it instead of the tilapia.  But tilapia is a fantastic sub.  Treat skate exactly the way the tilapia is written out in the recipe, except that you may have to adjust cooking times as it will likely be thinner.  Otherwise, proceed as directed and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Bar Americain Cookbook, by Bobby Flay


4 tilapia fillets
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup flour or Wondra flour
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbs capers, drained
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs chopped fresh tarragon

Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour on a large plate and season it with salt and pepper. Dredge the skate on both sides in the flour and tap off any excess.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook the fish on both sides until light golden brown and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the wine to the pan and boil until reduced by half. Remove from the heat. Add in the capers, lemon juice, and tarragon and stir to combine.
To serve, place a fish on a plate with a dollop of Chile Butter on top and two Ricotta Grits Cakes alongside.


Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup fine white cornmeal, plus 1 1/2 cups for dredging
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs unsalted butter, chilled
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
Canola oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray it with cooking spray.
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the cornmeal a little at a time, whisking constantly. Pour in the cornmeal slowly or you will get lumps in the finished product. Once the cornmeal is added, turn the heat to low and continue whisking for 25 to 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the grits are creamy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, butter, salt and pepper. Fold in the ricotta. It’s okay if it’s a little streaky.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet to a thickness of half an inch. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the grits, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Spread 1 1/2 cups cornmeal onto a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Cut the grits into eight 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Dredge each cake on both sides in the cornmeal. Heat about 1/4 cup canola oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Saute 4 of the cakes until golden brown on each side, 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels (?) and season scantily with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining oil and cakes until they are all done.


8 tbs unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tbs chopped chipotle in adobo
2 tsp honey
Kosher salt and black pepper

Combine the butter, chipotles and honey in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue mashing until perfectly smooth.

Shrimp and Grits

This is part 2 of the Dining at Bar Americain series.
Part 1: Chocolate Crepes with Rum Whipped Cream
Part 3: Tilapia with Chile Butter and Ricotta Grits Cakes
Part 4: Molasses Mustard Pork Chops
Part 5: Roast Chicken with Honey Mustard Black Pepper Sauce and Hatch Chile Spoonbread

There are very, very few people who dislike grits.  But there are many, many people who are reluctant to try grits.  Yet, everyone who tries them ends up loving them and wondering where they’ve been all their lives.

True story: after graduating college, I worked for a federal senator, and one time my boss had to attend a brunch for some foreign dignitary.  The brunch was at a restaurant in Dallas locally known for their grits.  All the locals familiar with the place started raving about the grits and, upon seeing the confused frown from the dignitary, told him that he just HAD to try them, they’re just so good here.  He politely declined.  No, no, everyone insisted, they’re so amazing, you have to try them. Oh, no, that’s okay, he responded.  Have you ever eaten them, they asked.  No, he replied.  Well, that settles it, you have to try them at least once.  And they’re so good here!  He kept saying no, he really wasn’t interested in trying them.  The Americans kept pressing and refusing to take no for an answer.  The dignitary knew he was losing at that point, so to shut everyone up, he blurted loudly, “Okay, fine!  You win.  I’ll try ONE GRIT.”  As you can imagine, they all nearly fell out of their chairs with laughter.  He ordered the grits and finally got the joke.

I had tons of grits growing up, which made me very happy, but usually they didn’t include shrimp.  I’m very glad I have tried them with shrimp, because I think that shrimp and grits is one of the more delicious dishes in existence.  The plump, juicy shrimp meld so beautifully with the salty, crunchy bacon and rich, creamy grits.  This was one of the table’s appetizers when we dined at Bar Americain.  It was a huge hit with everyone, and the homemade version is just as terrific.  If you’re one of those people who is reluctant to try grits, TRY THIS DISH!!  It will convince you, I promise.

Source: Bar Americain Cookbook, by Bobby Flay

4 cups seafood or chicken stock
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1/4 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4″ strips
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Make the grits: bring 4 cups stock and 2 tsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the grits are cooked and have lost their gritty texture. Flay says to whisk occasionally. I found that grits get a real attitude when left to their own devices and start spitting at you. I whisked continually and kept the heat on medium-low to reduce the spitting and make sure it didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. It worked nicely for me. Just play with the heat levels and see what works.
If the mixture becomes too thick add another cup of stock or even water. Continue cooking until absorbed. Add the cheese and cream and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Cook the bacon in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until crisp and the fat has rendered. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.
Pour off all but 3 tbs of the bacon fat and return the pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Working in batches as needed, add shrimp, garlic and thyme to the pan and saute until the shrimp have cooked through. Transfer to a plate with the garlic (as much as you can get – don’t be too hyper about it).
Divide the grits among 4 bowls and top each with 5 shrimp. Sprinkle with bacon and scallions. Serve immediately.

Note: if you have leftovers, put away the shrimp and grits separately. Microwave the shrimp until they are hot but not any further cooked, which only took 30 seconds in my microwave. To microwave the grits, add a little milk or cream to them and then heat 1 minute. Stir the milk in, test heat level, and keep reheating until they are to the desired temperature. They will take longer than the shrimp, thus the need to separate the components, but they will get creamy again.