Wild Boar Andouille Sausage Hood Canal Shrimp and Cheesy grits Y’ALL

I have been in a “artistic cooking rut” lately.  I just haven’t had the energy or the focus to work on recipes lately.  I know it happens, but I didn’t know what would happen next.  About two months ago, I was watching a news show on the history of Carolina grits and how this man was bringing the old seed stock back into production and chefs every where were ordering this product for new innovative throw back recipes.  I thought to myself, “My father loves Southern grits and I have some wild boar andouille sausage and Hood Canal shrimp in the freezer….hmmmmm.”  That is as far as I got until I got this random email from someone that read my blog.  Her name is Cornelia Wilde, and she owns a restaurant  called Funky Art Café in Brenham, Texas.  She emailed me to tell me that she had read my blog and found it to be very interesting, and inspirational.  I am telling you this not to gloat or for my own ego.  I am sharing with you because her kind words in fact inspired me to get back on my horse and keep working on my passion.  I told her that I was very humbled by her email and appreciated the kind words.  Then we got to talking about her menu at her restaurant and I noticed she had grits on her menu and that began an email education from her Southern back ground on the key elements of working with grits.  So, Cornelia Wilder of Brenham, Texas.  This one is for you and my ailing father.  Thank you for your inspiration and grits wisdom.  I hope someday to come into your place and surprise you.

My father grew up in the South, a little town called Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  My grandmother used to cook grits pretty often for the family.  I was watching a Sunday morning news show on history of grits, so I ordered myself a bag of South Carolina Gold.  The rest is history.  I am going to tell you something right now, I was nervous about this one, but it is easy smeezy chicken peasy.

Lets rock this thing.

4 1/2 cups water
cup grits (Carolina Gold is the best)
tablespoon oil
1/2 pound wild boar andouille sausage cut into small pieces 
tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 pound wild shrimp (peeled and de-veined, the black little line at the back of the shrimp, pull it out…taste nasty)
tablespoon oil
onions (diced)
1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
tablespoon Cajun seasoning
cup chicken broth (use that Costco chicken to make your own broth)
tomatoes (diced)
1/4 cup heavy cream
green onions (sliced), keep 1 tablespoon for plating at the end.
handful parsley (chopped)
tablespoons butter
cup cheddar cheese (grated)
I got myself a little “Photo bomber”
 Follow the directions on how to make grits on the back of the grit container, or in my case the bag.  Boil 4.5 cups of water, and add 1 cup of the finest grits you can find.  Here is the key, making grits is about love.  You got to love on them by stirring them constantly. Once it boils, turn the heat down to simmer.  This does not mean forget about them, you can’t do that because you love them so you stir every so often.  I do this as I cook the other good stuff for an hour.  As my friend in Texas says “don’t overcook them… undercook rather than overcook them… like that pheasant meat, overcooked grits turn into gelatinous rubber… kinda like something the nutty professor would prepare, make sure the grits are a bit loosy-goosy when putting into a casserole or a bowl…  putting it in the oven to melt the cheese will cook the grits a bit more so the consistency should be just right…  if not, you’ll need a knife & fork to eat the grits”.DSC_0481
I like to prep all my ingredients because I do not want to miss my “Grits window”.
Sear the andouille sausage on medium heat until brown.  Keep in mind, keep stirring those grits
Once the sausage is browned, remove and set aside.  I leave that oil in the pan to sear the shrimp.  Add some cajun seasoning to the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes, make sure to not over cook the shrimp.
Remove shrimp from pan, clean pan, and add oil to it and the diced up veggies for about 7 minutes until tender.
I like to add a little Cajun seasoning to the onions for a wee little kick.  At this time, look over your shoulder and give a holler out to the Thyme girl who is taking the small leaves off the stem.
She is very focused….VERY Focused

Add the garlic, thyme, and remainder of Cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant, that means until you start smelling the garlic and thyme.  That takes a few minutes.

Are you stirring the grits? Give them some love.

Add the broth and chopped tomatoes and simmer to reduce about 1/3rd.  This takes roughly 5 minutes.

Please notice that I pour my homemade chicken broth out of a wine glass like it is the holy grail.  That is how much I believe a great chicken broth can change the outcome of the dish.  I also make the sound “ta-daaaaaa” when I pour it in.

Add the sausage and shrimp back into the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the green onions, cream and remove from heat.  Stir very well.

Add the butter and the cheese to the grits and stir.

Plate the grits.

Cheesy grits

Then ladle the shrimp and andouille sausage over the grits, making sure to get everything on top of the dish.  Do not leave anything out.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Serve immediately.


I hope you enjoyed the dish as much as we did.  We have family dinners with my mom and dad every Sunday.  I am not sure how many we have left with my fathers ailing health but we all still get to laugh and enjoy eachothers company.  One thing is for sure, when my dad gets up there to heaven there is gonna be a little conversation with grandma on who made the best grits.  I guess I will find out when I get there.

The Hunting Chef

My Hero, my father A.R. Nanna
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