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Fish and Shellfish, Mains, Quick and Easy

Jack Fry's shrimp and grits

Jack Fry's shrimp and grits
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: Please see if you can get a recipe for shrimp and grits at Jack Fry's restaurant in Louisville, Ky. It is one of the best things I've eaten. Michelle Phillips Cheviot Hills We wondered if this letter could ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 6

Red-eye gravy

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces Kentucky country ham, minced (substitute Virginia ham)
  • 1/2 cup julienned onion
  • 1/4 cup julienned green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Step 1Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, green pepper, mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 2Add the Madeira, coffee, chicken broth and tomato and bring to a light boil. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce until it reduces by one-third, about 10 minutes.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Step 1In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream and butter. Bring to a light simmer. Slowly stir in the grits, reduce the heat to low and stir frequently until the grits are thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Stir in the cheese and the salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives

Step 1Heat 1 tablespoon butter in another large saute pan. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 3 minutes.

Step 2Add the red-eye gravy. Add the remaining butter and stir to incorporate.

Step 3To serve, divide the warm grits among 6 plates and top with the shrimp and gravy. Garnish with the cheese and chives.


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