Seafood · Uncategorized

Our Summer Southern Twist

We do a lot of talking about Southern foods. Maybe it’s because we miss them so! There’s something comforting and familiar with all of the foods we remember from our respective youths (even if that youth extended to our college years). We associate these foods with memories of family and friends on birthdays and holidays. No Thanksgiving or Christmas are complete without key dishes that only certain people are entrusted to make, and they know exactly who they are. One of the Southern dishes we’ve lamented the loss of would be shrimp and grits. It’s not a complicated meal, but it is full of complexity in its own right. A mouthwatering bowl of shrimp and grits will remind you of all that is good in the world, and you will be craving more. Oh yes, it is that serious, and you’ll see why.


In one of last summer’s Guest Test Kitchen features, we shared a good friend’s recipe for shrimp and grits. A year later, we are back with shrimp and grits, but this time, we’re flipping the switch. That’s what we’re known for of course! We met up with online and real life friend, Carole, actress and green blogger galore. She’s also a Southern girl from Georgia who knows exactly what we’re talking about when it comes to shrimp and grits. It was time for burger and fries, but we went for crab and shrimp burgers next to baked grits fries. Outstanding! We topped the burgers with freshly roasted peppers that we popped on the grill, steamed, peeled and sliced up. There’s also a spicy homemade tartar sauce with sriracha. The grits fries were crunchy on the outside but creamy on the inside. Each bite was peppered with crunchy bits of garlic that burst in the mouth and kept us reaching for more. Put these two together, and you will appeal to anyone who has a hankering for their days below the Mason Dixon line.

Crab and Shrimp Burgers – Serves 8
1 1/2 cups large shrimp, cleaned, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh crab meat
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup panko crumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup seafood seasoning (A good friend from New Orleans gifted us with River Road seasonings!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

1. In a large bowl, carefully mix all of the ingredients except the breadcrumbs, seafood seasoning and butter. Form into 8 patties and set on a baking sheet. Chill for an hour.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs and seafood seasoning. Once the patties have chilled, cover all sides of the patties with the bread crumb mixture and lay on a separate baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, flipping once.

3. If desired, top each patty with a bit of butter and set the burgers onto a vegetable grill basket. Heat for 1-2 minutes on a preheated grill just for flavor and a little color. Serve on warm buns.

Garlic Grits Fries – Serves 4 to 6
1 cup grits
3 cups water
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried garlic (Amir had Garlic Gold Nuggets in the back of his pantry!)

1. Cook the grits with the water and milk according to the package directions. Stir in the cheese and salt just before removing from heat.

2. Carefully pour the hot grits into a large, shallow plastic container. Allow the grits to cool down to room temperature. Cover, then chill overnight.

3. When ready, overturn the grits onto a large cutting board and cut into 1/2″ wide pieces. Lay them on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, sprinkle with dried garlic and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until browned. Flip them once to brown all sides.

Click HERE for printable recipes.

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44 thoughts on “Our Summer Southern Twist

  1. Oh yum! These grit fries look fantastic! I never would have thought to turn grits into fries, but it’s positively brilliant. And your photographs are truly mouthwatering. =)

  2. Just got back from my neck of the woods – NW Ark. and satisfied SOME of my craving for southern food. Like fresh bass with a fine cornmeal crust served with hushpuppies! Your crab and shrimp burger is perfect for summer and my next southern fix!

  3. WOW! i have been here in the ATL for a little over 20 years and i have my own spin on shrimp-n-grits, though it would draw eyes of beguile in my native Philadelphia. this is a bookmarked/TODO list post. i am truly in awe.

  4. Okay this looks amazing! I have never had garlic grit fries. And I’ve only had either shrimp burgers or crab cakes – definitely never the combination. I sure have been missing out! And we’re both from the south – shame on us! Great recipe!

  5. love me some garlic grit fries, but you know i’ll pass on the shrimp burgers, though they look entirely too good… are you canceling all that good protein by eating all those yummy fries? Jus sayin’! πŸ™‚

  6. Love the great recipes and I agree there is something special about Southern cooking. Grit French fries sound like something truly specatular! What a treat

  7. That is just over the top awesome. Sriracha and peppers are the kicker. And those grit fries? I am 100% trying those. Bookmarked!

  8. You know how to kill me, don’t you? I’m having mundane ol’ turkey burgers tonight. Man, these crab and shrimp ones sound loads better. πŸ˜‰

  9. I love this deconstructed and then reconstructed version of shrimp and grits! I may be a northerner but I will concede that very little sticks to your ribs and warms your heart more than good old southern cuisine!

  10. A light summer burger, without the heaviness of beef. May be a nice twist for the coming holiday weekend near the grill! The photos seem to burst with flavors and colors – delicious!!!

  11. They BOTH really, really, really were AMAZING! Loved me some “grit-fries”! My mouth is watering just writing this. I love the duo dishes! YAY!

  12. We used a standard 9″x13″ baking sheet, and we were able to squeeze all of the fries right on there.

  13. Now we’re talking! This is awesome fussed up Southern food! You either need to come here or I am heading your way for some of these goodies. πŸ™‚

  14. When I was in the States last weekend I was very tempted to buy some grits in packages to try. Instead I came come with all things Mexican. I am always looking for new burger recipes and this seafood one fits the bill perfectly.

  15. Waw!!
    For someone who hasn’t eaten anything of the South of the USA before, you are surely making me hungry,….Waw!! This burger & these garlic grits fries look so incredibly tasty!!!

    A must make recipe!! Thanks for sharing, my friends!!!

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