Crook’s Corner Shrimp and Grits

Crook's Corner Shrimp and Grits Recipe
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Quick Facts:

Makes 4 servings


Crook's Corner Cheese Grits:
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup stoned-ground grits
1 cup Cheddar cheese
4 T. butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp Tabasco Sauce

6 bacon slices, diced
1 pound unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
¼ cup sauce flour (such as Wondra or Shake and Blend), seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
2 cups sliced fresh white button mushrooms
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped green onions
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Tabasco Sauce to taste (four shakes!)
Salt & pepper to taste

Recipe Description:

The late Bill Neal of famed Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill served up some of the finest shrimp and grits north of the Carolina Lowcountry. A native South Carolinian, Neal possessed the privilege to toy with the storied shrimp and grits recipe, but did so with reverence, careful not to compromise the dish’s simplicity. While shrimp and grits recipes have been reimagined by countless chefs, more than 20 years after Neal’s death, his shrimp and grits recipe remains a menu mainstay at Crook’s Corner. Recipe courtesy Crook's Corner.


Bring salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; Stir in grits, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Cheddar cheese and remaining ingredients.

1. Prepare the grits and hold in a warm place or on top of a double boiler over simmering water.
2. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Rinse and pat dry.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, but save all of the grease.
3. Dust the shrimp with the seasoned flour. In the large skillet, begin to sauté the shrimp in the bacon grease over high heat. Turn the shrimp and then add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook a moment, then begin tossing the skillet as for a stir-fry. Pour off some of the grease if it appears too oily.
4. Cook for a minute or two more until the shrimp and mushrooms appear to be done and have browned a little. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute shaking the pan vigorously. Add the lemon juice, and Tabasco and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Lastly, add the scallions and toss to combine. Correct the seasonings. Spoon shrimp mixture over hot Cheese Grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

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