Yield: about 4 servings


1½ lbs. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1 lemon
Tabasco sauce
6 cups water
1½ tsp. salt, divided
1½ cups stone-ground grits (not instant)
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1-2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup grated medium to sharp cheddar cheese

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  • step 1: HideShow Images

    In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, lemon juice and a few dashes of hot sauce.  Toss gently; set aside.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    To make the grits, combine the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil.  Whisk in the grits a handful at a time.  Decrease the heat to a very low simmer and cook over low heat for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and increasing more towards the end of the cooking time.

  • step 3: HideShow Images

    While the grits are cooking, make the gravy.  Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the bacon until browned but not crisp.  Mix in the onion, green pepper, and garlic.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the scallions and flour and mix well.  Continue to cook, about 5 minutes more.  Stir in the chicken stock and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.  Remove the pan from the heat.

  • step 4: HideShow Images

    When the grits are thick and creamy, stir in the butter a small bit at a time to taste.  Stir in the cheese and a dash of hot sauce.  Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit while you finish the gravy.

  • step 5: HideShow Images

    Return the gravy to medium heat.  Stir in the shrimp.  Cook, turning once, just until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 3 minutes total.  Scoop the grits into warmed serving bowls and top with spoonfuls of the shrimp gravy.  Serve immediately.