Shrimp and Grits Eggs Benedict with Spicy Red Eye Gravy
The southern classic Shrimp and Grits twisted into the best brunch dish ever. Shrimp and Grits Eggs Benedict with Spicy Red Eye Gravy is amazingly flavorful…bursting with spicy, bold flavors that will definitely put a little pep in your step!
Day 3 of Brunch Week! Are you excited? There were so many amazing dishes already, I can’t even imagine what everyone has in store for us the rest of the week. I decided to turn one of my favorite comfort meals into an elegant brunch dish. Perfectly portioned Shrimp and Grits Eggs Benedict with Spicy Red Eye Gravy definitely has some pa-pow when you take a bite. Not your traditional Shrimp and Grits recipe at all, I mashed up some of my favorite flavors to create this one of a kind breakfast just for you…just for brunch week.
The first time I ever tried Shrimp and Grits was at the Boathouse restaurant on Hilton Head Island. My mother in law lived in Hilton Head for years so we would frequent the Boathouse because it was right down the street from her home. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to check it out….it’s just the epitome of coastal charm right on the water. Tons of classic southern seafood dishes and steamed shellfish to choose from. And the laid-back vibe is something we really enjoyed. The tall trees are covered with spanish moss that just floats in the coastal breeze, it’s like a Nicholas Sparks book….but with shrimp…and clams…and grits.
I decided to recreate that dish my own way….and put an egg on it. So, I came up with this Shrimp and Grits Eggs Benedict with Spicy Red Eye Gravy….like a deconstructed…or constructed Shrimp and Grits recipe. Does that make sense? I’m thinking it doesn’t…but bare with me for just a sec. So, I made a “grit cake” kind of….with cheesy grits made with an amazing Cabot Sharp Cheddar Cheese that’s really hard to use in a recipe because I usually eat the whole block before it makes it into the dish. But in this case….I was able to get a bit of cheese in there. The grits are super easy to make and become firm enough when cool that you can cut them into any shape you want. Really, bust out those cookie cutters and have some fun. I used a boring round biscuit cutter but you could use a dolphin if you want or a snowman…it’s your breakfast. Next, I made the most amazing Spicy Red Eye Gravy you will ever have in your life. I’m not even kidding. It starts with some andouille sausage and then you add the sweetest Vidalia onion, cooking just until softened before finishing out the gravy with some cajun seasoning, garlic, stock and espresso powder. Oh…and hot sauce, lots and lots of hot sauce. Saute some shrimp, poach some eggs...you’re ready to go my friends. Layer it all together and you can now….dig in.
See how easy that was? Shrimp and Grits Eggs Benedict with Spicy Red Eye Gravy would be a great way to kick off the Kentucky Derby festivities this weekend or….make some for mom on Sunday. Serve them up with a cocktail or two…or three. And finish up with something sweet.
Shrimp and Grits Eggs Benedict with Spicy Red Eye Gravy #BrunchWeek
- For the grits:
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup stone ground corn grits
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup Cabot Sharp White Cheddar
- For the gravy:
- 6 ounces Andouille sausage finely chopped
- 1 Vidalia onion chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 2 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- For the shrimp:
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1/2 pound uncooked shrimp peeled and deveined tails intact
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 poached eggs
- Chopped scallions for garnish
- Bring the water and salt to a boil over medium heat. Add the grits and cook until thickened, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese. Pour the mixture onto a small sheet pan lined with parchment and chill for 10-15 minutes or until firm.
- Add the sausage to a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat and cook until browned, approximately 5-7 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a small bowl and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and cook until softened, approximately 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the cajun seasoning and corn starch, cooking for an additional 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken and turn the heat to low. Stir in the worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, espresso powder and butter. Simmer for 5-6 minutes or until the gravy has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Keep warm.
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until the shrimp is no longer translucent. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Remove the grits from the refrigerator and cut out four circles (or dolphins) with a round biscuit cutter (approximately 3-4 inches in diameter). Warm the cut out grits in a clean skillet coated with cooking spray for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Place each grit cake on a plate and top with 3-4 shrimp. Place one poach egg on each grit cake and top with a few spoonfuls of red eye gravy. Sprinkle with chopped scallions, if desired. Serve immediately.