Blog post updated to add new photo, recipe variation and an Amazon Affiliate link.
If you haven’t grabbed a copy of the newest cookbook from Chef Carla Hall, I highly recommend it. This Sea Island Shrimp and Grits from page 230 of Carla Hall’s Soul Food is worth the 40 minutes of stirring the grits to perfection. You can also go the faster route and substitute quick grits, if you must.
I had the honor of working with Carla and getting to know her a bit after her time on Top Chef. I have followed her career and love her infectious spirit and the fountain of knowledge she brings to everyday cooking. She taught me that the top of bell peppers shouldn’t go to waste. “That’s your bonus,” she told me while we were in a prep kitchen preparing for a cooking demonstration, and it completely changed the way I even cut peppers.
Having spent a few years in South Louisiana myself, this Shrimp and Grits recipe was a reminder of the beauty of cooking that is the standard for that part of the country. Not everything has to be overdone with butter (though I don’t hate that, either) to be packed with flavors that take you back to the Bayou or a Sunday supper table.
While I’ve been making my way through several of the recipes is Carla Hall’s Soul Food, I have the Sea Island Shrimp and Grits recipe in regular rotation. It’s a simple version of the Southern staple, and more recently I’ve been adding in some seasonal veggies to bulk it up.
In this version, I followed the recipe as it is published here and added 1 large zucchini diced up to the size of the other veggies. I find the addition of a little more veggie gives the dish an extra lift that I like.
If you’re looking for all of these amazing Soul Food recipes, grab the cookbook, which you can purchase here on Amazon.