Cheese grits with a secret, more: Whip up a Southern brunch

When food blogger Stacey Little started, he had no idea what a hit it would be. Now, with hundreds of thousands of readers, a strong contingent of Facebook fans and publication of "The Southern Bite Cookbook," Stacey is certainly a rising star in the food world. As part of the Fresh Cooks Live: TODAY's Spring Cookalong series, Stacey, an Alabama native, showed us how to make a mouthwatering Southern-style brunch.

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Stacey Little Photographers / Today's Stacey Kelly serves up tasty shrimp and grits.

Shrimp and grits

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 16 ounces medium shrimp, raw, peeled, and deveined 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels; crumble it when it has cooled. Add the chopped onions to the bacon grease in the skillet, and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until it is fragrant. Sprinkle the shrimp with the salt and pepper, and then add them to the skillet. Cook the shrimp until they are just starting to turn pink, about 3 to 4 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk the flour into the broth. Pour the broth over the shrimp, bring just to a sim­mer, and cook until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, and serve immediately over My Secret Cheese Grits.

My secret cheese grits

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter

In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring the water to a boil and stir in the salt. Slowly add the grits, stir­ring constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until they reach the desired tenderness and consistency. Grits should be smooth and creamy, not chewy. Add more water if they begin to dry out.

Just before serving, stir in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and butter. Stir until melted and combined. Serve immediately.

Stacey Little's fresh fruit salad

Fresh fruit salad with honey-lime dressing

  • 10 to 12 cups of assorted fruit (ex. apricots, kiwi, melon and berries)
  • Juice of two limes (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint (8 to 10 large leaves)

In a large plastic or glass bowl, combine the fruit. Refrigerate. In a small bowl whisk the lime juice, honey and mint together. Drizzle over fruit and toss lightly when ready to serve. Keep chilled.

Stacey Little's easy quiche

Quick and easy quiche

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1 9-inch regular frozen prepared pie crust, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the cheese and bacon (or ham) in the bottom of the pie crust. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the crust. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the quiche is just set. Serve warm.