Monday, May 18, 2009

Hank's Shrimp and Grits

Hank has one or two specialty dishes that he likes to make and we love to eat. Shrimp and Grits is one. He found the recipe in an old Charleston Receipts cookbook, which was published by the Junior League of Charleston in 1950. The finest ladies of Charleston published their best recipes (or receipts as they were called).

Hank has modified the original recipe, which was contributed by Mrs. Ben Scott Whaley (Emily Fishburne). As fate would have it, we currently live on the property (and next door to the house) where Mrs. Whaley was born and raised. Her daddy was a country doctor and a few years before she passed away, she wrote a couple of books which I highly recommend.

Mrs. Whaley's Charleston Garden and Mrs. Whaley Entertains...No southern belle's library (or kitchen) is complete without these books. I was fortunate that she was able to autograph mine before she went to her great reward. Mrs. Whaley reminded me of Aunt Zoie...just chock full of life and love! You'll love her, her stories, and her recipes.

SHRIMP AND GRITS (use whatever kind of grits you prefer...stone ground are our favorites, made with lots of heavy cream and butter. Plain old "quick" grits will work too. Throw some cheese in if you want)

1 pound (or so) peeled raw shrimp

1 medium sized chopped onion

1 medium sized chopped green pepper

4 or 5 slices of bacon

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white wine mixed together (Emily Whaley just used water)

Fry bacon and set aside. Brown onion and pepper in bacon grease. When onion is translucent, add shrimp; turn several times with onion and pepper. Add enough of the water/wine to make a sauce--about one cup. Do NOT cover shrimp with water or the whole dish will be bland. Simmer 2 or 3 minutes and thicken with flour and a little water made into a paste. Add salt and pepper to taste, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Cook slowly until sauce thickens. Serve over grits. Serves 4-6


  1. I've only ever had shrimp and grits once. I wasn't a big fan. Very blah. But Hank's version sounds way better than what I had. I bet he could convert me.

  2. I would never be caught making this but I'll come over anytime hank is cooking it!

    Have a great day!

  3. Hank will be busy cooking for the 229 guests whom you are inviting for dinner. Oh, wait, all of your followers will surely want to bring guests. Wow, that will be a lot of shrimp!

  4. I am going to try Hank's recipe - using 1/2 cup of white wine - well everything is better with a little wine....

  5. oh my gosh, when are you having me over for dinner ;)


  6. I've never had grits but this sound wonderful! Let me know when you're having everyone over :)


  7. I wouldn't be a true Southerner if this recipe didn't make me hungry! Love shrimp...Love grits. Love shrimp & grits! Thanks.


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