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.