Chef Lazarus Lynch has been cooking (nearly) professionally since high school. The two-time "Chopped" winner, host of Food Network's competitive Snapchat cooking show "Chopped U" and author of "Son of A Southern Chef" successfully turned his childhood love of food into a multi-layered and incredibly stylish culinary career.
When asked by Salon Food whom he would cook for — if he could cook for anyone whether alive or no longer with us — Lynch unhesitatingly offered up his grandmother, Margaret Lynch, as the clear choice.
"Margaret was a talented beautician and a gifted cook," this sparkling creature of the digital age said. "She started me on my path. And, though I've never met her, I know how important she is to my life and I want to tell her."
"Honestly, it's shrimp and grits. It's classic. It's luxurious. It screams 'yasssss.' . . . Need I say more? And I was that kid who ONLY ate grits with sugar and butter. I couldn't wrap my six-year-old brain around why anyone would add salt and pepper to their grits. As I grew up, I began to appreciate the savory version, though I was never completely sold—until now. And that, my friends, has delivered to you the magic that is this recipe. These grits are smooth and creamy, and yes, baby, they're hella rich. I promise you've never had shrimp and grits like these before, and you'll never, ever want to eat normal shrimp and grits again. Watch." - Lazarus
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits
- 1¾ cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
- One (13.5-ounce can) unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream, plus more as needed
- 1 cup stone-ground white grits
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Dash of hot sauce
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Make the grits: Bring the chicken stock, coconut milk, and milk to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. While whisking continuously, slowly sprinkle in the grits. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. When the grits begin to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese and butter until melted. Cover with a lid to keep warm until ready to serve.
Make the shrimp: In a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, salt, black pepper, and chicken stock and simmer until the shrimp are pink and tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the butter, lemon juice, and hot sauce and swirl the pan allowing butter to melt. Shut off the heat and add cayenne and parsley to finish, then season lightly with salt to taste.
Uncover the grits and whisk in more stock or milk to reach your desired consistency. Ladle the grits onto a plate and top with shrimp and sauce. Enjoy!
The gravy: The grits will thicken as they sit. Use more stock or milk to loosen them up.
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