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Shrimp and Grits with Asparagus and Snap Peas

Aliya LeeKong
Cook Time:
55 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Shrimp and grits is a Southern staple and a versatile meal that you can really make your own. These grits are my absolute favorite. I love using smoked mozzarella directly in the grits because it gives the creamy grits that signature smokiness but with a lighter overall feel to it. Sautéing the shrimp with andouille, shallots and garlic adds bold flavor. The pickled chiles blended with the butter provides the perfect pan sauce that is silky and creamy but still light, with a touch of sweet acidity. Feel free to play around with the vegetables seasonally, but for spring, the asparagus and snap peas are perfect.

Technique tip: In order to keep the vegetables bright and green, blanch them before sautéing them, which means cooking the vegetables for 90 seconds or so in boiling, heavily salted water and transferring them to an ice bath.

Swap options: Feel free to throw in the greens of scallions instead of chives. Also, for the pickled chiles, feel free to use pickled cherry peppers or jalapeños.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • cups smoked mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 pound asparagus (about 7-9 stalks), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound sugar snap peas (about 1¼ cups), stems and strings removed
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 link andouille sausage, small diced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium spring onion bulb or shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons sliced, pickled red chiles with 1 tablespoon pickling liquid reserved
  • basil, roughly torn, to garnish
  • chives, thinly sliced, to garnish


For the grits:

In a saucepan, bring the milk and chicken stock up to a boil. Lower to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and whisk in grits. Cover and cook at a low simmer for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in the butter and smoked mozzarella, whisking to incorporate fully. Keep covered and warm.

For the shrimp:


Bring a medium pot of water up to a boil and season heavily with salt. Fill a bowl with ice and cold water.


Add the asparagus to the pot and cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Use a strainer to transfer the asparagus to a bowl filled with ice and cold water.


Add the snap peas to the boiling water and cook for the same amount of time, transferring to the ice bath when done. Let sit in the ice bath for a minute or two and then drain the vegetables, removing any ice. Keep aside.


Heat a skillet over high heat. (Make sure the skillet is large enough for the pound of shrimp; you don't want to crowd them.) Add the avocado oil and andouille to the pan and sauté for a minute or two to flavor the oil. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and reserve.


Make sure the shrimp are dry and then season with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for a minute or so. Flip the shrimp, lower the heat to medium and add in the shallots, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the butter, tossing to combine. Cook for another minute or two.


Throw in the blanched vegetables, pickled chiles with the reserved juice, reserved andouille and another 2 tablespoons of butter, and toss to combine. You just want to let the butter melt and the vegetables to warm up. Remove from the heat.

To serve:

Serve grits hot and spoon the shrimp mixture on top, letting the pan juices drip on to the grits. Garnish with torn basil and chopped chives.