This post has been updated as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better photos to delicious recipes!
There are days I’m homesick for a place I only called home for a short while. I want to go back to where the tea was a little too sweet, everyone who didn’t drink coffee in the morning likely had a Diet Coke, there was such thing as the office “biscuit run” if you were on the early shift, everyone knew a bit about your business, you knew how quickly you had to leave church after Sunday service to make it to your favorite restaurant before the other church down the road got out and you ended up stuck waiting for a table, and once you’d become a part of the community, the community would stay in your heart forever.
We thought we couldn’t leave Georgia fast enough when we moved out West only to realize what a beautiful little life we enjoyed there, rich with people we miss and a community like no other. We still keep in touch with friends thanks to social media, but it’s not the same as living nearby, sharing the same small town with two and a half main streets; probably three by now.
While we lived there, we were just a few short hours from Savannah, and we took full advantage of the situation by planning getaways every few months with Dolce. We loved to stay at the Hamilton-Turner Inn because they were pet friendly and we liked the Casimir Pulaski room. The food was always the highlight of the trip, and we enjoyed many local restaurants. The Old Pink House was one of our favorites, although we typically ate in the piano lounge downstairs as it usually resulted in interesting conversations with different people after dinner.
One of the dishes we enjoyed at several restaurants in Savannah (including both Old Pink House and Lady and Sons), is the low country classic shrimp and grits. Creamy slow-cooked grits with perfectly tender shrimp sauteed with fresh vegetables all atop cheese, with maybe a splash of hot sauce if you so desire (we do!). I make this dish a few times a year, always making a bit of an event out of it, and once even had a party to share with friends. That was one huge pot of grits! I always meant to host another before we left California, but never did get to it, so we’re having the party here.
Welcome to my shrimp and grits party! Grab some tea, set a spell, and get ready for one of the best coastal Georgia comfort food dishes you’ve ever enjoyed!
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1½ c green bell pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 1 lb peeled and de-veined shrimp
- 1 c uncooked grits (not instant!)
- 4 c broth
- ½ c heavy cream
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c grated cheddar cheese
- ½ c chopped scallions (white and green)
- hot sauce (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, then stir in the grits slowly to avoid lumps. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the broth has been absorbed, lower the heat and stir in the butter and heavy cream. Stir until the butter is melted and then remove from the heat and set aside. You may also stir in the cheese at this point if you'd like cheese grits.
- While the grits are cooking, place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until very crisp, turning frequently. Place the bacon strips on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.
- Remove all but 2 tbsp of the bacon fat from the skillet. Add the green pepper, onion, half the scallions, and garlic to the skillet and saute in the bacon fat until soft and translucent.
- Add the shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through.
- To plate the dish serve the grits, top with cheese, add a healthy portion of shrimp and vegetables, top with remaining scallions, and hot sauce if desired. Serve immediately.