A southern classic with a little twist
Food is the best way to create a community. When I was growing up, my grandma was always inviting people over to eat. She used her culinary skills to create a community with people she knew and people she didn’t know. Food creates that same community for me. The best memories I have in my life are around the dinner table - laughing, crying and storytelling - with family, friends, and sometimes strangers. I always feel like I truly understand a country or a culture when I’ve had the chance to eat their food.
My grandma exposed me to Southern culture through her food. She was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, and I was born in the Pacific Northwest. I never lived in the South, but I definitely feel like I know it and can appreciate it, thanks to my grandma and all of the delicious food she would make for us.
This recipe is definitely an elevated version of the food that I grew up eating. We didn’t have asiago cheese in our house growing up, nor did we have chorizo. The shrimp my grandma made was delicious, but she definitely wasn’t using avocado oil. It was likely being cooked in bacon grease. I made it this summer as an ode to my grandmother.
I don’t actually remember my grandma ever making Shrimp & Grits as a meal, but I do remember her making seafood dishes all the time, and I swear we ate grits at least once a week; maybe more.
On any given night, we might have Shrimp Etouffee, fried catfish, or crawfish. And we usually ate grits for breakfast - grits with sausage, grits with cheese and sausage, grits with eggs, grits with cheese, just grits. It was a morning staple in our house for sure.