Spice Up Winter with Shrimp and Grits

February 19, 2019

Recipes for shrimp and grits can be as varied as the chefs and home cooks who prepare this comforting dish.

North Carolina chef Bill Neal is credited with making shrimp and grits popular, thanks to Craig Claiborne of The New York Times, who shared his recipe in the mid-1980s, but it’s been a beloved dish for longer than that.

Historians say the dish could have been enjoyed by the Gullah Geechee people of the Carolina coastal area. For years, this dish regionally was referred to as “breakfast shrimp.”

In Mississippi, shrimp and grits is most often associated with John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford. Currence, who worked under Neal early in his career, takes a slightly spicy approach. The kicked-up shrimp and their sauce pair deliciously with the cheesy and buttery grits.

The American Shrimp Processors Association offers Currence’s Shrimp and Tabasco Hot Sauce Cheese Grits recipe below. Currence is one of ASPA’s talented Chef Advocates, who opt for great-tasting and naturally hormone- and antibiotic-free Wild American Shrimp.

For more mouthwatering recipes featuring Wild American Shrimp, visit americanshrimp.com/recipes

Shrimp and Tabasco Hot Sauce Cheese Grits

Shrimp and Grits John Currence

By Chef Advocate John Currence



1 c. Quaker Quick Grits

1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter

1 1/2 tbsp. Paprika

3/4 c. X-sharp Cheddar (White)

1 tbsp. Tabasco Hot Sauce

1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt & Pepper to Taste


  1. 1. Cook grits according to instructions on package.
  2. 2. As grits are finishing, whisk in butter, cheddar, parmesan, cayenne, paprika, and Tabasco.
  3. 3. After all ingredients are incorporated, season with salt and pepper.




2 c. Chopped Smoked Bacon

3 c. Sliced White Mushrooms

3 tbsp. Olive Oil

3 tbsp. White Wine

1 1/2 lb. 26-30 count Shrimp

2 tbsp. Lemon Juice

Salt and Black Pepper

2 c. Sliced Scallions

3 tsp. Minced Garlic


  1. 1. Cook bacon until it begins to brown, remove from heat, strain and reserve bacon grease and bacon bits.
  2. 2. Heat large skillet until very hot, add olive oil and 2 tbsp. bacon fat.
  3. 3. As oils begin to smoke, toss in shrimp to cover bottom of pan.
  4. 4. Before stirring, season with salt and pepper (this will season shrimp in particular but the rest of the dish as well).
  5. 5. Stir until shrimp begin to turn pink all over (let pan return to original hot temperature.
  6. 6. Stir in minced garlic and bacon bits (be careful not to burn the garlic).
  7. 7. Toss in mushrooms and coat with oil briefly.
  8. 8. Add lemon juice and wine, stir for 30 seconds or so until everything is well coated and incorporated.
  9. 9. Assuming that this is ready to be served, toss in sliced scallions and stir for about 20 seconds (if these hold too long before serving, they will begin to turn brown and lose all of their crunch).
  10. 10. Serve over the aforementioned, patiently waiting cheese grits.


This should serve 3 or 4, depending on how hungry everyone is.

Click to find out more information about Chef John Currence and City Grocery Restaurant Group.


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