True Southerners don’t mess around when it comes to grits. Grits are so popular that they were declared the official state food of South Carolina in 1976! Great on cold nights when you need something to warm up, grits make a perfect base that can be paired with just about anything–as a breakfast dish with butter or cheese or for dinner with sausage or catfish. Make this Southern staple a part of your dinner routine by adding fresh shrimp and some veggies and you’ve got yourself one hearty and filling meal that’s sure to leave your entire family asking for seconds.

1 cup peeled shrimp (1/2 pound)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4-1 cup chicken stock
hot, cooked seasoned (butter & salt) grits

1. Prepare grits according to package directions.

2. Add salt and butter to taste and set aside, but keep warm.

3. While the grits are cooking, start the shrimp. In a bowl, sprinkle the shrimp with lemon juice, salt, and pepper and set aside.

4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion and pepper over medium heat until the onion begins to become transparent, about 10 min.

5. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir constantly for about 2 min, until the flour begins to brown.

6. Add the shrimp and about 3/4 c of water or stock, stirring constantly and turning the shrimp so that they cook evenly.

7. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the gravy is uniformly smooth, thinning with a little extra water or stock if necessary. Serve immediately over the grits.

This is a recipe from our friend Chef Scott Davis, The Culinary Dude who teaches awesome cooking classes to families, parents and kids in Los Altos, Sacramento, Napa, Healdsburg, Los Angeles, Sausalito and San Francisco. For more information email Scott Davis or visit or for more details.

Photo credit: sugarcrafter via Flickr.