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Originally titled “Shrimps and Hominy” in the 1930 edition of Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking, this is the earliest recipe we could find. It was attributed to a man who said he had been eating shrimp and hominy every morning during the shrimp season for 78 years and never tired of it. The name of this recipe was changed to “Breakfast Shrimp and Grits” in the 1976 edition of the same book. We’ve adapted it to today’s language, but the ingredients remain the same. Of course, it is implied that the shrimp are fresh, wild American shrimp.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups hot, cooked grits
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • Salt
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp

Directions

Add two tablespoons of the butter and one teaspoon salt to the cooked grits, if not already salted. Meanwhile, heat four tablespoons of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the shrimp until they turn color. Remove from pan. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and melt. Top the grits with the shrimp and pour the butter on top.

Author’s note: You may peel the shrimp before or after cooking, but usually if people want to cook shrimp in the shell, they simmer rather than sauté them, unless they plan to eat the shrimp head, shell, and all.

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