Southern Spicy Shrimp & Grits

English: Cropped screenshot of Vivien Leigh fr...

There is something so special about southern hospitality. There exists a congeniality that goes beyond the traditional magnolias and manners. It’s pervasive in the ways of everyday life– how you’re greeted in a home, treated in a shop and seated in a restaurant.

For me, life is nothing more than a series of minutes between meals. I appreciate everything else that swirls hectically and bewilderingly around it, but nothing brings your head out of the clouds like when you are served up a dish of benevolence southern style.

When Sir Sackier makes his Spicy Shrimp & Grits, I swear there’s not an ounce of English in him. He’s all Spanish moss and smoky cigars, rocking chair porches and bourbon on the rocks. It’s a lovely change in the Rules of Civility, even if it’s all in the accent.

Using my best southern drawl, I have requested his perfected recipe. He’s kindly agreed to part with it.

Like the best of southern gentlemen.


The creamy grits and spicy sauce create a nice contrast. Adjust the amount of hot pepper sauce to make the dish as hot as you like. A big white wine and the woman you love make for a great evening!


1/3 cup green hot pepper sauce

1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth (I prefer this)

1 shallot, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 cup whipping cream

7 cups 2% milk

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 cups corn grits

1/4 cup olive oil

8 ounces smoked andouille sausage (or spicy chicken or turkey sausage) sliced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 cup minced onion

4 garlic cloves, chopped

30 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Tabasco & Chipotle sauce to flavor

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Combine hot pepper sauce, wine, shallot, lemon juice and vinegar in heavy medium saucepan. Boil over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cream. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Bring 1 cup cream, 7 cups milk, generous pinch of salt and butter to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Simmer until grits are very soft and thickened, stirring frequently, about 1 hour. Do NOT let it boil or it will become lumpy and horrid.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, onion, sausage and both bell peppers,  and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add shrimp, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning and Old Bay seasoning and sauté until shrimp are opaque in center, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and red Tabasco and Chipotle sauce.

Bring hot pepper-cream sauce to simmer. Spoon grits onto 6 plates, dividing equally. Spoon shrimp mixture over grits. Drizzle hot pepper-cream sauce over and serve.

Now don’t forget to head on over to the main post (here) to see what I’m bletherin’ on about this week. And check out what we’re talkin’ bout down at the pub (here) too!


Don't hold back ... Hail and Speak!

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