Chef’s Corner

Chef Dontrell Ham

Chef Dontrell Ham

“This easy shrimp and grits recipe will satisfy the entire family’s tastebuds.”

Shrimp & Geechie Boy Grits

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


Creamy Grits
  • 6 oz. yellow stone ground grits
  • 6 oz. white stone ground grits
  • 1 qt+1 ¼ cup water
  • 10 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 oz. butter, unsalted
  • ½ oz. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Smoked Tomato Gravy
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 oz. yellow onion
  • ½ tbsp. garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Old Bay
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 sprig thyme (destem)
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3 oz. white wine
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. crystal hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 each Bay leaf
  • 10 oz. canned diced tomato (cold smoke for 30 min)
Completing the shrimp and grits plate
  • 28 Shrimp (16/20 peeled, deveined) 7 per bowl
  • 12 oz. poblanos, diced
  • 12 oz. tasso ham, cubed ¼ in.
  • 1 oz. garlic chopped
  • 16 oz. tomato gravy
  • 2 oz butter


Creamy Grits
  1. Heat water and cream over medium-high heat until simmering over.
  2. Mix grits and seasoning together, then whisk into liquids.
  3. Continue to whisk occasionally for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking for 20 minutes.
  5. Add butter and continue to cook and stir for 15 minutes
  6. Cook to your desired doneness.
Smoked Tomato Gravy
  1. Cold smoke tomatoes for 30 minutes.
  2. While tomatoes are smoking, melt butter and sweat onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
  3. Add spices and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with white wine and whisk in chicken stock, hot sauce, and Worcestershire.
  6.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes whisking continually.
  7. Blend everything with a stick blender or place into a blender and puree until smooth.
  8. Add half the smoked tomatoes and incorporate thoroughly.
  9. Return to the pot and add the remaining tomatoes, lemon juice, and bay leaves.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Completing the shrimp and grits plate
  1. Render tasso in a ½ oz of oil.
  2. Add poblanos and sauté until lightly caramelized.
  3. Add shrimp and cook stirring to cook evenly for 4 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Cover with tomato gravy and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in butter to finish. Taste and adjust seasoning at the end.
  7. Divide the grits evenly in 4 bowls and top with sauce and shrimp between each bowl.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley to finish.

Restaurant Information: Chef Dontrell Ham is a Chef at South City Kitchen. With two locations in Atlanta, Georgia (Midtown and Buckhead) and restaurants in Smyrna, Georgia (Vinings) and Alpharetta, Georgia (Avalon), you will have plenty of opportunities to check out their Southern cuisine in the Peach State.