Shrimp & Grits

This month I am going to change it up a bit because sometimes fish is not readily available or maybe you’re just not in the mood for fish.

However, shrimp generally are available year round. Shrimp and grits is a Charleston classic, which is found all over the Lowcountry.

I’m sure every one has their own recipe but I am going to give you a simple, yet delicious recipe that anyone can make.

First we are going to need a few ingredients. When you go to the store grab grits, shrimp (local if they have it), a quart of heavy cream, Tasso Ham or bacon, tomatoes, red bell pepper, onions, garlic, scallions, lemons, blackened seasoning, butter, and parmesan cheese.

Now that we are stocked up with ingredients, it’s time to prepare everything. I generally will start by peeling the shrimp if you didn’t already buy it peeled.

A good size for shrimp would be 26/30 count, which means there are 26-30 shrimp in a pound. I usually try to find shrimp that are P & D or peeled and deveined.

I would stay away from shrimp that are from overseas

It is relatively easy to do it though if you need to. Also, if local shrimp are not available the gulf has great shrimp as well, I would stay away from shrimp that are from overseas.

Now that your shrimp are prepared it’s time to start on the grits.  Grits are made a million ways these days so if you have a certain way you like to make them feel free.

I like to measure out my grits and then run water lightly over them until the hulls and skins float over the vessel. Once it rinses clean strain off the grits into a fine colander.

Grits are a 4-1 ratio meaning you need 4 cups of liquid to 1 cup of grits. In this case we are going to make a 4 cup liquid to 1 cup grits batch.

Get a stockpot and add 2 cups heavy cream and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Then add your grits to the pot. Stir well and lower heat to a simmer or less.

Every few minutes just stir the pot while you are prepping everything else. If your heat is too high they will shoot out like hot magma.

If you want to cover them you can but don’t forget about them because grits can burn easily. An easy way to do this is cook them for about 15-20 minutes and then turn the pot off and cover them.

They will continue to cook. Once they are about finished add the butter, cheese, and salt and pepper.

You may also like to read about the popular and delicious fish, flounder.

While your grits are cooking we can get all the other ingredients prepped. So small dice the onions, red pepper, Tasso ham or bacon, tomatoes, scallions, and mince the garlic.

In a sauté pan add butter, Tasso ham or bacon, peppers and onions. Cook until translucent then add the garlic, shrimp, and blackened seasoning. Add cream and cook until thickened.

Finish with fresh squeezed lemon juice, diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper if needed. This part should only take 5 minutes or so. To plate just add the grits to a bowl and cover with the shrimp and gravy.

Garnish with sliced scallions and enjoy!!! Feel free to add or take out ingredients.

– Chef Kyle Kryske is a native of Pascagoula, MS. He has resided in Charleston for 15 years & has been cooking in restaurants for 18 years. He has worked in MS, AK, NC, and SC. and is Chef de Cuisine at Coast Restaurant in Charleston. Kyle is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University. When he is not working he is either inshore or offshore fishing.

The Full Recipe

Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients for Grits:

1 cup Grits

2 cups Heavy Cream

2 cups Water

½ stick Butter

½ cup Parmesan Cheese

S & P


Ingredients for Shrimp/Gravy:

1 sm Red Bell Pepper- Diced

1 sm White Onion- Diced

1 T Garlic- Minced

1 Tomato- Diced

½ Pound Tasso Ham or Bacon

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 T Blackened Seasoning

1 Lemon- juiced

1 Bunch Scallions- sliced

1 Pound Shrimp

¼ stick Butter

S & P


Method of Preparation for Grits:

1.  Measure 1 cup grits and rinse with water until the skins float to the top.  Strain and reserve

2.  In a stock pot add cream and water and bring to a boil.

3.  Add Grits and lower heat.  Stir every few minutes

4.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes at low heat and cover

5.  Once cooked add butter, cheese, S & P


Method of Preparation for Shrimp/Gravy:

1.  Diced the pepper, onion, tomato, and tasso ham/bacon. Mince garlic and slice scallions

2.  In a sauté pan add butter, tasso ham or bacon, peppers, and onions.  Cook on medium heat until you get a little color on everything.  Then add the garlic, shrimp, and blackened seasoning.  Then followed by the cream.  Cook until thickened.

3.  Add tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt and pepper if needed


Method of Preparation for Serving:

1.  Get a bowl and add grits, spoon shrimp/gravy over the top.  Garnish with Scallions and Enjoy!