My husband loves grits.  I mean REALLY loves them.  Commanders Palace, Waffle House or a local greasy spoon that specializes in “Southern Cooking”.  He orders them every time.  So grits are big in our house.  When my answer to “what’s for dinner” is “grits and…”, he’s excited even if I add “and cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli or one of the myriad of other vegetables he doesn’t like.  He rarely hears anything beyond “grits”.

Prior to getting married, I never even HEARD of grits.  Come on now, grits were rarely seen North of the Mason-Dixon Line until the late 80’s.  But I learned to make grits in culinary school-oh, happy day for hubby.  And I got good at it.  It’s easy.  Here’s how:

But what goes on top of it is more challenging.  Traditionally, “Shrimp and Grits” is made with Andouille Sausage and shrimp stock.  But since grits are what I call, a “pantry dish” or a dish whose ingredients I always have on hand, I wanted a shrimp recipe that I could throw together quickly with ingredients that were typically in my house.  I always have the ingredients for the following recipe and can put it together in about 30 minutes.  And it’s always “Boy, that was good”.

Bayou Shrimp with Tabasco Butter


½ C. butter,. Room temperature

¼ C. chopped chives or green onions(scallions)

4 tsp. “crab boil”, Emeril’s Essence or other Creole seasoning, ground fine

2 tsp. Tabasco sauce, Frank’s Hot Sauce or other hot sauce

1 C. sliced red onion

1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/3 C. dry vermouth


For the Tabasco Butter:

  1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl.

    The Key Element: Tabasco Butter

For the shrimp:

  1. Melt 2 TBL. Tabasco Butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook about 3 minutes.

    Red Onion Add Color

    Layering Vegetables For Flavor

  3. Add the peppers and garlic and cook until all the vegetables are almost tender-about 2 more minutes.
  4. Push vegetables to the side of the skillet and add 2 more TBL. of Tabasco Butter.
  5. Add the shrimp and cook , gently stirring and flipping, until almost cooked-about 2 minutes.  Then mix with the vegetables and season with salt.

    Don’t Over Cook The Shrimp!

  6. Add the vermouth and boil for a minute.
  7. Add the rest of the Tabasco Butter and swirl just until melted.

Serve over grits or rice.