MAVERICK GRITS (with chorizo, ham, scallops and shrimp, for four)


In the south, shrimp and grits are a breakfast treat.


For the grits:

4 cups water

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup old-fashioned stone-ground grits

¼ cup heavy cream


For the shrimp and scallop topping:

1-½ chorizo links (spicy pork sausage), cut into ¼ inch thick slices

4 ounces country ham, cut into julienne strips

2-½ tablespoons butter

1/3 pound white button mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

8 medium sea scallops

12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined if desired

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

¼ cup sliced scallion

pinch of Cajun seasoning

¼ cup chicken stock

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce



1. Make the grits. (The directions that follow are for old-fashioned, stone ground grits, often hard to find in the north. If you’re using Quaker old-fashioned grits or something similar, follow the package instructions for timing and water, and add the butter and cream called for here.) Bring water, salt and 1 tablespoon butter to a boil in a 3-quart, heavy saucepan. Whisk in grits and cook at a bare simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until grits are tender and thick, about 1 hour. Stir in cream and remaining tablespoon butter and remove from heat.

2. Make the topping: 15 minutes before grits are done. Cook chorizo and ham in ½ tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until ham is golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo and ham to plate with a slotted spoon. Add ½ tablespoon butter to skillet and heat until foam subsides. Cook mushrooms, red pepper, garlic and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Transfer to plate with ham. Add ½ tablespoon butter to skillet and heat until foam subsides. Cook scallops until golden on both sides and just cooked through, about 3 minutes, and transfer to plate with a slotted spoon. Add another ½ tablespoon butter to the skillet and cook the shrimp, turning, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chorizo, ham, mushrooms, peppers, garlic, scallops, remaining ½ tablespoon butter and remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits in skillet, until heated through, then season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


adapted from the restaurant Slightly North of Broad restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

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