Shrimp and Grits {food obsessions}

0414 Shrimp and Grits-1 pinterest

You know that movie “Conspiracy Theory” with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts where every time Mel sees a copy of Jack Kerouc’s “On the Road” he is compelled to buy it?

Yeah, so, that’s me and Shrimp and Grits. Every time I see it on the menu I pretend that I’m considering other options but every single time I order Shrimp and Grits. Creamy grits, topped with a spice sausage gravy, and sweet shrimp, who could resist? So obviously I had to figure out how to make it using what I like best from the many, many, many versions I’ve tried.

0414 Shrimp and Grits-4

Now that I’ve perfected my own recipe, I make it for a weeknight dinner sometimes and everyone loves it. But it’s happiest at brunch–my favorite meal of the week. If you want to feed a crowd–which is how brunch should ALWAYS be served–you can put the grits in one crock, the gravy in another, and let the shrimp basically be the garnish. Fun!

So, enough about my food obsession, here’s my recipe. What’s your food obsession?

Shrimp and Grits

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp and Grits


  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 1 pound U25 shrimp, shells removed and reserved
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound andouille* sausage, diced into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely diced. About 1/2 cup
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon blackening season
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup coarse ground grits (also called polenta)


    Make the sauce:
  1. Heat 2 cups water in a small saucepan until simmering. Add shrimp shells and cook 10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage to a plate, leaving the grease in the skillet.
  3. Saute onion for 2 minutes with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add peppers and celery, sauté for another 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook just until fragrant.
  4. Add flour and stir until it's made a light roux (until all of the flour has been incorporated into the grease).
  5. Whisk in shrimp stock until smooth.
  6. Add back in sausage and simmer until cooked down and sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
  7. Make the grits:
  8. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  9. Whisk in grits and turn down heat to medium. Add milk.
  10. Cook grits for 20 minutes, whisking nearly constantly, until thick and creamy.
  11. Make the shrimp:
  12. Toss the shrimp with the blackening season.
  13. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Saute the shrimp until just cooked through: 3-5 minutes.
  14. To serve:
  15. Spoon 3/4 cup of grits in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with 3/4 cup of sauce. and 5-6 shrimp.


*if you can't find smoked andouille sausage, use another good smoked spiced sausage like kielbasa.

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Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

Frittatas are basically like making an omelet, except they’re easier. Instead of trying to fold eggs over a filling without breaking everything, you just mix the filling into the eggs, top with cheese, and broil.

Frittata Broccoli Cheddar complete

Also, frittatas are good room temperature, so they’re great for when you’re making brunch for a crowd; you can make it a bit ahead and let it sit out while everyone grazes. And with leftovers, put it between two slices of toast and you’ve got breakfast on the go. Are you a convert yet?

Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

Yield: 4 servings


  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 ounces shredded cheddar
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli florets (if using frozen, just defrost them)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 Tablespoon butter


  1. Turn on broiler.
  2. Whisk eggs with cream until light and smooth, approximately 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in cast iron or oven safe non-stick skillet.
  4. Pour eggs into pan, sprinkle broccoli and half of cheddar. Cook until nearly set; bubbles will start to appear in the middle; approximately 10 minutes. Top with rest of cheddar.
  5. Place pan in broiler approximately 4 inches from heat. Broil for 3-5 minutes, just until top is golden brown.
  6. Cut into 4 pieces and serve.
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Frittata Broccoli Cheddar Ingredients

Frittata in progress

Frittata in progress 2

Brunch: the most wonderful meal of the week

Bloody MaryI love brunch. It’s this wonderful meal where anything goes. You can have eggs. You can have burgers. You can have coffee. You can have cocktails. It can be a leisurely meal with the family, or a party that lasts all day. Ah, brunch. Dan and I once hosted a brunch that lasted 12 hours. You know it’s a successful brunch when it turns into dinner. And now, with kids, it’s also one of the best meals to entertain. Kids can play together, adults can socialize, and everyone can enjoy some delicious food. Here’s one brunch menu, but I’m sure there will be plenty more of these in the future. This one is extra special though since Dan agreed to share his Bloody Mary recipe. For anyone who’s every had his Bloody Mary’s, now you can make them at home yourself. You’re welcome.

Brunchtastic Brunch:

Brunch complete

Dan’s Bloody Mary’s
Broccoli Cheddar Frittata
Oven Roasted Bacon
Roasted Tomato Grits
Banana Berry Muffins