October 2016
Homeplace & Community

CHEF’S CORNER: Got Fresh Gulf Shrimp?

Shrimp and Bacon Quesadillas  


4 bacon slices, chopped
8 ounces (36-42 per pound), medium shrimp peeled and
deveined, halved lengthwise
2 ounces cooked corn
2 ounces tomato, chopped
1 ounce fresh or jarred chili pepper (jalapeno, etc.)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
2 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup Jack cheese, shredded
¼ cup green onions, chopped and divided
Sliced avocado, salsa and sour cream

In a medium frying pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Pour off grease. To pan, add shrimp and cook until pink, about 1 minute, stirring often. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Place a tortilla in pan and sprinkle half of it with half the bacon, shrimp, cheese and vegetables. Fold tortilla over filling and press down gently. Cover and cook until browned, turning once, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat to make second quesadilla.

Cut each quesadilla into 4 pieces. Serve with avocado, salsa and sour cream.



3 cups water
1 cup coarsely ground grits
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups half-and-half
2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
1 pinch, or to taste, cayenne pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch slices
5 slices bacon
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

In a heavy saucepan with a lid, bring water, grits and salt to a boil. Stir in half-and-half and simmer until grits are thickened and tender, 15-20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

In a bowl, sprinkle shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper; drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a large skillet, place sausage over medium heat; fry until browned, 5-8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Retain bacon drippings in skillet. Transfer bacon slices to paper towels. Let cool and crumble.

In the bacon drippings, cook and stir green, red and yellow bell peppers; onion and garlic until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

Stir shrimp and cooked vegetables into sausage and mix to combine.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is medium brown in color, 8-10 minutes. Watch carefully, mixture burns easily.

Into the skillet with sausage, shrimp and vegetables, pour butter-flour mixture. Place the skillet over medium heat and pour in chicken broth. Add bacon and Worcestershire sauce, cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and the shrimp become opaque and bright pink, about 8 minutes.

Just before serving, mix cheese into grits until melted and grits are creamy and light yellow. Serve shrimp mixture over cheese grits.

  Low Country Boil



1 Tablespoon, or to taste, seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
5 pounds new potatoes
3 (16-ounce) packages cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
4 pounds fresh shrimp, heads-off

Heat a large pot of water over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add seasoning and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add corn; cook for another 5 minutes. Add shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Drain water and pour contents onto a picnic table covered with newspaper or other covering.


Brian Taylor CEC, CCE is the corporate executive chef for SouthFresh Farms.