"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Friday, June 11, 2010

City Grocery Shrimp and Grits

City Grocery is a wonderful restaurant in downtown Oxford, Mississippi on the square. Head chef and owner, John Currence, is a celebrated chef throughout the South and contributing editor for Garden and Gun magazine. He won the 2009 James Beard Best Southern Chef award. He also owns Boure (Southern Cajun food) and Big Bad Breakfast (breakfast food - and lots of it). For those of you in Birmingham, word is that there will be a new restaurant opening in Mountain Brook by an Oxford native that models Big Bad Breakfast with its fresh local ingredients and original recipes. This recipe of Shrimp and Grits is probably City Grocery's most famous dish. I promise it will be a new favorite!

City Grocery Shrimp and Grits
1-cup quick-cook grits
4 Tbs. Unsalted butter
¾ cup extra-sharp white cheddar
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ Tbs paprika
1 tsp Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups chopped smoked bacon
3 Tbs olive oil
1 ½ lbs. of 26-30 count shrimp (peeled)
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 tsp minced garlic
3 cups sliced white mushrooms
3 tbs white wine
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 cups sliced scallions

Cook grits according to instructions on package. As grits are finishing, whisk in butter, cheddar, Parmesan, cayenne, paprika and Tabasco. After all ingredients are incorporated, season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until shrimp are ready.

Cook bacon until it begins to brown; remove from heat, strain and reserve bacon grease and bacon bits.

Heat a large skillet until very hot, and add olive oil and 2 tbs bacon fat. As oil begins to smoke, toss in shrimp to cover bottom of pan. Before stirring, season with salt and pepper.

Stir until shrimp begin to turn pink all over (let pan return to original hot temperature).

Stir in minced garlic and bacon bits, being careful not to burn garlic. Toss in mushrooms, and coat with oil briefly.

Add lemon juice and wine; stir for 30 seconds or until everything is well coated.

Assuming that this is ready to be served, toss in sliced scallions and stir for about 30 seconds. (If these are added too long before serving, they will begin to turn brown and loose their crunch).

Serve over cheese grits.


  1. This sounds yummy, Anna! I'm going to have to try it!

  2. Looks like a great recipe! thanks. just discovered your site.

  3. 2 CUPS of chopped bacon? Are you sure that is the correct amount?

    1 1/2 26-30 count shrimp? Should that be 1 1/2 POUNDS of shrimp?

  4. Yes, 2 cups of chopped bacon is correct. And thank you, I left out the "lbs" abbreviation when typing.

    1. bacon makes everything taste better. Had this dish all over and this is definitely the best one!

    2. how many people does this serve?


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