My Derby Party

Cheesy Shrimp Grits with Chorizo and Pepper Relish

by Janet Hedstrom, Executive Chef

14 Hands

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 25 minutes
Makes approximately 24 pieces.
Recommended wine pairing:  14 Hands ‘Hot to Trot’ Red Blend

Cheesy Shrimp Grits:

  • 1/2 cup grits, or cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 cup water, seafood, or chicken stock.
  • 12  Prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cup breadcrumbs

Grill, roast, or sauté the prawns until just done.  Allow them to cool, and then chop up fairly fine and reserve.

Bring the water to a boil in a 1 quart sauce pan, with a pinch of salt.  Pour grits into water, and stir to remove clumps.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until grits are soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the diced up prawns and cheese.  Taste, and adjust seasoning.  Pour out into a 9 by 9 pan and spread thin and even.  Refrigerate until fully cooled.   Remove from pan and cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.

In a bowl, crack the eggs and beat well.  Dip the cut squares into the flour, dip into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs to fully coat.  When all the pieces are coated, heat a sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil and fry grits squares till brown and crispy, about 2 minutes each side.

Pepper Relish:

  • 1 each red and yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Meanwhile, dice the bell peppers into a small dice.  Place them in a sauce pan and cover with the vinegar and sugar.   Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until all the vinegar has evaporated and peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.


  • 2 chorizo or Andouille sausage links

Cook the chorizo or Andouille sausage by your favorite method until cooked through.  Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into 1/4 inch slices.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs horseradish
  • 2 Tbs chopped basil

To make the aioli, combine the mayo, lemon, horseradish, and basil.  Mix well.

To serve, place a dab of aioli on the fried grits, top with a slice of chorizo.  Garnish with the pepper relish.