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Make Cory Bahr's North Delta shrimp and grits recipe for some down home cookin'

Cory Bahr, executive chef and owner of Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, La., shares his take on a classic Louisiana dish: shrimp and grits.

The secret to this dish is butter — lots of it.
Published with permission of Restaurant Cotton

This hearty rendition begins with perfectly seared shrimp and builds layers of flavor with the trinity of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, flavored with Andouille sausage and deglazed with white wine and hot sauce. The sauce is then finished with aromatics and a healthy dose of butter, of course.

Creamy grits serve as the perfect base for this comfort food classic.

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For the grits:

  • 2 jalapeños
  • 2 qts milk
  • 2 c water
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • ½ lb corn grits
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t red chile pepper flakes
  • ¼ lb Parmesan, grated
  • ¼ lb cream cheese
  • ¼ lb unsalted butter

For the shrimp:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 28 jumbo shrimp tails, peeled
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 4 links Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 t thyme leaves
  • 1 c white wine
  • 1 T + 1 t Crystal hot sauce
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 t lemon zest
  • 1 T + 1 t Creole seasoning
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 2 t minced shallot
  • 2 T sliced scallion
  • 2 t chopped garlic
  • 12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ lb unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 t sliced chives
  • 2 t parsley, chopped
  • 2 t tarragon, chopped


For the grits:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the jalapeños in a small baking dish or on a baking sheet, and roast until the skins blacken. Remove from the oven, and let cool.

3. In a pot, combine the milk, water, heavy cream, corn grits, salt, and red chile pepper flakes, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then, reduce the heat to a low simmer.

4. Once cooled, skin, seed, and finely dice the jalapeños. Add the peppers to the grits, then add both cheeses.

5. Cook the grits over low heat for 25 minutes. Then, add the butter and mix well. Keep warm.

For the shrimp:

1. Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat. When hot, add the oil.

2. Add the shrimp to the skillet, and brown.

3. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and sausage. Cook until the vegetables are translucent, then add the thyme.

4. Deglaze with the wine, hot sauce, and lemon juice.

5. Add the lemon zest, Creole seasoning, salt, shallot, scallion, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

6. Add the butter, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sauce thickens.

7. Top with the chives, parsley, and tarragon. Serve over warm grits.

Serves: 4

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