My F&W
quick save (...)
Fresh Corn Grits with Shrimp Recipe
© Seth Smoot

Fresh Corn Grits with Shrimp

  • FAST

When F&W gave our market basket challenge to Top Chef Season 5 contestant Jeff McInnis, the owner of Miami’s Southern-inflected Yardbird restaurant, we purposefully included shrimp but no grits. McInnis didn’t care: He made his own fast, fresh version with the corn that was also in the basket. He added pecan butter to his grits, and here’s why: “My grandma Daisy had a huge pecan tree in her front yard in Brewton, Alabama,” says McInnis. “She’d break the pecans into little pieces with a mallet; I’d eat the sticky nut butter with my fingers.”


  1. 5 large ears of corn, shucked and coarsely grated on a box grater (2 cups pulp and juice)
  2. 1/4 cup milk, plus more for stirring
  3. Salt
  4. Freshly ground pepper
  5. 1/4 cup unsweetened roasted pecan butter (see Note)

shrimp sauté

  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 3 ounces thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto, cut into strips
  3. 1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  4. 6 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
  5. 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
  6. Salt
  7. Freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp
  9. 1 cup lager
  1. MAKE THE GRITS In a saucepan, simmer the grated corn and juices with the 1/4 cup of milk over moderate heat, stirring, until thick, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the pecan butter; keep warm.
  2. MAKE THE SHRIMP SAUTé In a large, deep skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the ham and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, snap peas and corn, season with salt and pepper and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until they just begin to curl, about 3 minutes. Add the lager and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are cooked through and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Whisk a little milk into the grits so it’s the consistency of polenta; heat until warm. Spoon the grits into shallow bowls, top with the shrimp sauté and serve at once.

To make your own pecan butter, process 1 cup toasted pecans in a mini food processor with 1/2 teaspoon canola oil until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Serve With

Lemon wedges.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, medium-bodied white Bordeaux.



Average Rating



Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

    Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.