Logan Junior Chef's Winning Shrimp & Grits

Drumroll, please! Logan Junior Chef of Memphis, Tennessee is the winner of our Best Southern Cook competition. He's taking his passion and talent into our Birmingham, AL test kitchens to cook up his winning take on the Southern classic, Shrimp and Grits. Logan's recipe has creamy, cheesy grits topped with a roasted vegetable hash and plump, local seafood (including scallops!). This dish comes together quickly, but it's also impressive enough to serve to hungry dinner guests.

Logan Junior Chef's Winning Shrimp & Grits
Serves 4 (serving size: 3/4 cup black-eyed pea mixture, 1/2 cup grits, 3 shrimp, 3 scallops)
Active 30 min. Total 50 min.

1/2 cup diced celery root (from 1 celery root)
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cups water
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
2 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp. salted butter, divided
3/4 cup diced yellow onion (from 1 onion)
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas
3 multicolored baby bell peppers, diced
1 large heirloom tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups seafood stock (preferably homemade), divided
12 large raw shrimp, peeled (about 3/4 lb.)
12 bay scallops, drained (about 1/2 lb.)
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. hot sauce, divided

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss together diced celery root and oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Stir in grits, and simmer, stirring often, until done, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add celery root, black-eyed peas, bell peppers, tomato, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring often, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp and scallops; cook until shrimp turn pink and are almost done, 2 to 3 minutes. Add paprika, black pepper, 1 teaspoon of the hot sauce, and remaining 1/2 cup stock and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cook until shrimp and scallops are done, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp and scallops to a plate, and cover to keep warm. Increase heat to high, and cook stock mixture until reduced and thickened slightly; 5 to 6 minutes.

5. Divide cheese grits evenly among 4 bowls. Top each with about 3/4 cup celery root mixture, 3 shrimp, and 3 scallops. Give each bowl a liberal spoonful of sauce from each skillet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Hi everybody. Logan Junior Chef here and Sam making shrimp and grits. First I'm gonna pour in my water, grits, a little bit of pepper, and a little bit of salt. Give this a stir and wait for it to heat up. Now that our grits are really looking good, it's time to add in our cheese. The cheese will really help it thicken up, and I mean, it just makes it tastier. Shrimp and grits is just such a Southern staple. I mean, you can't go anywhere in the South without running into it at least once. So now, our grits are really Really nice and cheesy and it's time to start plating. There we go, we can really get started on our shrimp. I'm gonna add in just a little bit of butter here. Now that our butter's getting all hot we can add in our shrimp. Now one of the secret things to cooking shrimp is not to overcook them. If you see that closed c that looks kind of like that, that's overcooked. Now I'm gonna add in my scallops. I really love the scallops in the shrimp and grits. It just adds a little something that most shrimp and grits don't have. So you can start to see the little shrimp changing color here. That's what's supposed to happen. Seafood should not take too long. It should only take, like, two to three minutes. I think our seafood's looking good here. I think it's pretty much done. Next we're gonna work on our vegetable medley. The first thing you need to do is get your base going. I'm gonna add in my butter, our onions, and our garlic. I kinda want this to get all nice and seared. Then I'm gonna add in my stock. My tomatoes, peppers. Free roasted celeriac. Now this is also celery root, the root has this amazing, complex flavor that I just love. Black eyed peas, smoke salt. I really love smoke salt, because it gives it another undertone of flavor. So we're gonna in some hot sauce. Now you can use whatever brand you want. Lastly, a little bit of paprika. We just let that cook and simmer for a little bit, till our peas are done, and everything's all married together. Now that we've given that some time, it's got all that flavor just built up. So you can just put a little on your grits. [BLANK_AUDIO] And there you have it. My take on shrimp and grits. Enjoy.
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