Low Country Shrimp and Grits

Fall 2012

Here’s the lowdown on a fresh shrimp brunch favorite from executive chef Mark Lietzke of Country Club of Hilton Head on Hilton Head Island, S.C.: He dials up the flavor of his Southern grits with cheddar cheese and Tabasco. “The star of my shrimp and grits is the unique shrimp gravy enhanced with cream, tomatoes, and smoky sausage.”

1-1/2 pounds medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 pound smoked sausage, diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
Cheddar Grits (recipe follows)

In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Set aside.

In a heavy stock pan, heat oil on medium high. Add the sausage and brown. Add the garlic and onions, and cook until translucent, sauteing about 5 minutes. Add the seasoned shrimp and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, pepper flakes, and parsley. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer on low for 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions. 

Top grits with shrimp and sausage gravy mixture and serve immediately. 

Yield: 6 servings


4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1 cup yellow stone-ground grits
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Place milk, salt, pepper, butter, and Tabasco in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed. Decrease heat to low and cook covered about 15-20 minutes. While cooking, remove lid and whisk mixture about every 5 minutes to prevent sticking. When finished cooking, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.

CHEF’S TIP: “For a spicier bite, use andouille sausage instead of plain smoked sausage.”


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