Sunday, October 30, 2011

Heaven and Hell Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chipotle Grits Inspired by The Saucy Gourmet

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This was a very big weekend for me.  I got to host my final smoke of the year, one of my very favorite days!  By smoke, I am not talking Marlboros, but ribs, beans and pulled pork!

Nothing better!

But first, I had invited a foodie buddy and my wife's cousin and his wife and visiting daughter.  We were pretty excited to see the Cardinals in the 7th game of the World Series, so they made the 3 hour drive over to visit, talk a little food, do a little prep work and watch the game...

And eat!

I was looking through the recipes submitted in the last few days to and was drawn to the classic southern treat... Saucy Spicy Shrimp and Cheesy Grits Submitted by The Saucy Gourmet!  Now I love shrimp and grits, and Shari has published a wonderful recipe, filled with cheese, thick with heavy cream and butter... wonderful seasoning and just plain perfect!

Shari is in her third year of blogging, but has her most active month this month!  I love to see her excitement with each post.  She has been known to get fancy occasionally replacing a standard Red Velvet cake and transforming it to a beautiful Red Velvet Towers. Or turn a classic Margarita into a Meyer Lemon Margarita!

So, armed with her inspiring posts to push the limits, I decided to dig out a recipe from my past, Bobby Flay's Shrimp and Grits, Roasted Chipotle Sweet Potato grits actually with a Heaven and Hell sweet Scallion dipping sauce paired with a spicy red chili sauce ala the Mesa Grill Cookbook!

Here's what I did...

The recipe can be found in Bobby Flay's MESA GRILL COOKBOOK.  According to his introduction for the dish, "I can see this as a Sunday dinner with the family, with the grits piled in the middle of the plate, surrounded by the shrimp.  But the grits are so good, you could also serve them as a side dish for an elaborate meal." ...

Or a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner???

Here's what I did...

1 large Sweet Potato
2 TBS Canola Oil
1/2 Shallot, finely diced
4 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup whole Milk
2 tsp pureed Chipotle Chile in Adobe Sauce
   (yes, from the can, into the mini chopper to puree)

pinch Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking Grits
2 TBS Butter
3 TBS Honey
6 TBS Olive Oil
1 pound large Shrimp, shelled and deveined
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Roast the sweet potato in the oven until tender when pierced with a knife (about 45 to 60 minutes)
  • Peel the sweet potato and puree the flesh in a food processor (or mini chopper)
  • Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the stock, milk, chipotle puree and salt... bring to a boil.
  • Slowly whisk in the grits.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the sweet potato puree, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter  and honey to taste.  Cover and keep warm.
  • Sauté the shrimp in preheated olive oil for just a few minutes.  DO NOT OVERCOOK.  Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the grits on a plate, top with the simple sautéed shrimp and serve with a sauce of your choice.  In the MEAS GRILL Cookbook, Bobby gives recipes for a Green Onion-Cilantro sauce and a Red Chili Oil sauce.  If you make them both, you get a little "Heaven and Hell" sauce choices, and they look great on a plate...

Green Onion Cilantro Sauce...

1 cup sliced Green Onions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Cilantro
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
Pinch Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Canola Oil

Combine everything except the oil in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  With the motor running, add the oil slowly until emulsified.

Red Chili Oil...

2 red Jalapeño Pepper, roasted, with the skin, seeds and white parts removed
1 cup Canola Oil

Back to the mini chopper and blend away!

The Chipotle in the grits adds a lot!  But combining with the dipping sauces (either sweet or spicy hot), you get a taste easily adapted to please the fire eaters or the more timid taste buds of any guest.

Thank you so much for the post Shari.  Reminded me of a great classic and I hope you are happy with what I did with your idea!

So, if you want to get inspired yourself, , take a jump over to "The Saucy Gourmet",take a look through her blog and tell her "Hi" from me.

And for a quick look at what she blogs, click on the logo link image to the right.  You will see all the eRecipeCards that Shari has submitted to  You can add her recipes to your eRecipeBox (once you have a free to set up account).

See how useful the site is and how easy it is to find new favorite bloggers!

These posts continue to highlight bloggers and recipes that I have found on  ""...


  1. WOW, I am speachless!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful shout out, you are awesome. I am trying to get 100 followers by my 100 blog post, your post may just put The Saucy Gourmet over the top!!!

  2. What a great dish. I'll wager your guests cleaned their plates. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Wow, this dish is full of flavor! Good choice. Sounds like you had an awesome weekend! Happy Halloween :)