Pewter platter with grits topped with shrimp and scallions.
Photography: Matt Wagemann – Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

I’m pretty sure I’m a southerner at heart.  There’s something about soul food that gets me all tingly inside – fried chicken, mac and cheese, biscuits…  YUM!!!

Southern food is not just delicious, but simplistic, non-pretentious, and most importantly, unapologetic.  There is no lack of butter, shortening, cheese and frying oil in the southern kitchen, but thankfully not all dishes will consume your daily calories in one sitting, including this one.

Shrimp & Grits

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6



  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups white or yellow corn grits
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Kosher salt


  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • 2 teaspoons blackening seasoning
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
  • Parsley, chopped, for serving
  • Kosher salt


  • MAKE THE GRITS. Bring the stock to a boil in a stock pot.
  • While whisking constantly, sprinkle in the grits.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the grits thicken and are al dente, about 45 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter, pepper and cheeses and mix until melted.
  • Season with salt, to taste.
  • Meanwhile, MAKE THE SHRIMP. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp and blackening seasoning until the shrimp are fully coated.
  • Warm a large seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crispy, for 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the skillet; drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook the shrimp until bright pink on both sides and almost fully cooked through, for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Add the lemon juice, garlic and scallions and sauté, tossing often, until the shrimp is fully cooked, for 1 to 2 minutes; do not overcook the shrimp.
  • Serve the shrimp over the grits; add a sprinkling of crumbled bacon and garnish with chopped parsley.


If the grits begin to set, add some water and stir to achieve the desired consistency.
Cooking time for the grits will vary based on brand.
Course: Seafood
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino