Country Captain Shrimp and Grits

By: The Local Palate
Country Captain Shrimp and Grits in a bowl

Birmingham chef, Sedesh Boodram, adds shrimp and grits to a Country Captain-style sauce for an inspired new take on the Lowcountry favorite.

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Serves 4-6

    For the grits
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 2 cups grits
  • 1 stick butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the country captain sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 1 chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika
  • 2 cups good-quality canned tomatoes, chopped, plus 1 cup of juice reserved
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Slivered toasted almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, and thinly sliced scallion for garnish

Make the grits

  1. FIn a medium saucepan, bring half-and-half, 4 cups water, and thyme to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and slowly whisk in grits.
  2. Turn heat to low and whisk periodically. After 20 minutes, add extra water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to keep grits from burning and getting too dry.
  3. Once completely cooked (about 20 to 30 minutes longer), add butter, salt, and pepper. Keep warm.

Make the sauce

  1. In a wide-bottomed pot or deep sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, chile, and garlic and sweat until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add ginger and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes. Add curry powder, garam masala, mustard powder, allspice, and paprika and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato juice and cook until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable stock, bay leaves, and dried cherries. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in shrimp and cook until just pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, place grits in a bowl and top with Country Captain sauce. Garnish with almonds, coconut, and scallion.
  • Recipe By
    Sedesh Boodram of Anvil Pub and Grill in Birmingham
  • Contributing City

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