Recipe Sleuth: Acadiana’s Shrimp and Grits

Is there a restaurant dish you’d love to get the recipe for? We’ll track it down. Today we tackle Acadiana's sumptuous shrimp and grits.

Want to bring some Southern comfort to your kitchen table? At one reader’s request, we tracked down the recipe for the decadent shrimp and grits served at the downtown DC restaurant Acadiana. The recipe, made with Gulf shrimp, Hoppin’ John’s grits, and tasso ham, traces back to Chris Clime, the restaurant’s first chef de cuisine, who now heads the kitchen at sister restaurant PassionFish. He came up with it while working in Charleston, South Carolina, and now the $15 dish is one of the most popular with the lunch crowd.

Serves one

For the shrimp:

¼ cup small-diced onions
¼ cup small-diced celery
¼ cup small-diced green bell peppers
2 ounces tasso ham, julienned
1 tablespoon creole seasoning (Clime likes Paul Prudhomme’s)
7 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ounce sherry
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter

In a pan set over low heat, sweat the onion, celery, and green peppers until tender. In a separate large pan, sauté the tasso ham on medium-high heat until the fat starts to render. Add the sweated vegetables and creole seasoning. When the creole seasoning starts to toast and become fragrant, add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes. Glaze the mixture with sherry, and add the cream and butter. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through and the cream is reduced to a sauce consistency.

For the grits:

3 cups chicken stock
3 cups milk
1 cup grits (Acadiana uses Hoppin’ John’s)
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Sliced green onions as needed

Combine the chicken stock and milk in a pot and cook over low heat. When the liquid begins to simmer, add the grits and continue to cook over low heat until the mixture reaches a pudding-like consistency. Stir in the cheddar cheese until it melts.

Ladle the grits into a bowl and spoon the shrimp mixture over top. Garnish with the green onions.

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.