8021 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
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Unfortunately, no one in St. Louis sells real grits, only instant grits. Our town is not southern enough to market grits! To get true grits, one must drive down south and load up the trunk or order online. If you are used to instant grits, the coarse texture and flavor of long-cooking grits is a revelation. To produce grits, the corn has been treated with a caustic to remove the outer coating. True grits do need to cook for a long time; one hour is necessary and two hours are even better. The result is a creamy texture that is a delicious base for poached eggs or red-eye gravy or crawfish etouffee. Grits are also delicious just with a lot of cheese and tabasco.

One of the best ways to eat grits is with shrimp, a recipe that originated in the Carolina low country.

Shrimp and Grits

  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 6 onions
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper

Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon. Thinly slice the onions on a mandolin and cook in the bacon fat until well-caramelized, about 30 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Return the bacon and add the shrimp and cook for one minute. (Do not overcook or the shrimp will be rubbery.) Serve immediately on top of grits.

for the grits:

  • 1 cup grits
  • 4 cups milk or stock or a mixture
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • optional: 1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese
  • salt, pepper, and tabasco to taste

Bring the milk or stock to a boil. Stir in the grits, and keep stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. (I like to stir the thick mixture with the Danish dough whisk.) Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours. If necessary, add more liquid. Stir in the butter and cheese and season well with salt, pepper, and tabasco.

To learn more about cooking with grits, join chef Emily Marshall on May 11 as her cooking class makes cheese grits with blackened shrimp. Register Now.