Shrimp & Grits Sauce Recipe

Southern With a Twist

For those who just can’t get enough of Southern classics but like a fresh take every now and then, we’ve got you covered. Here, area restauranteurs dish up some of the best flavors the region has to offer with a little something unexpected.

Photography by Ryan Long Photography

“There are many variations of shrimp and grits in the South, but we feel ours stands out because of our saffron broth. Two separate dishes that Southerners ate regularly, it was discovered not too long ago that they are simply that much better when the ingredients are added together.”

-Blake Snow, Old Gilman GrillBlake Snow of Old Gilman Grill

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shrimp and grits in a bowl.

Shrimp & Grits Sauce Recipe

Blake Snow
Course Sauce
Cuisine Southern
Servings 1.5 quarts


  • 2 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 Tbsp. korsher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup fennel, diced
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup leeks, diced
  • 3 cups red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/8 cup garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 strands of thyme leaves
  • 5 whole saffron threads
  • 1 qt. white wine
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Crystal hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 lb. lobster base
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 qts. vegetable stock


  • Toss tomatoes with ¼ Tbsp. of salt and ¼ Tbsp. olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400° in a convection oven until blistered, approximately 15 minutes.
  • In a large pot, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat and add celery, carrot, and fennel.
  • Sauté for roughly 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add onion, leeks, and bell pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add ¼ Tbsp. salt, garlic, paprika, thyme, saffron, and the roasted cherry tomatoes.
  • Also add any juice from the tomato sheet pan.
  • Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently, before deglazing the pot with white wine and scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in hot sauce, tomato paste, lobster base, bay leaf, and vegetable stock.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat.
  • Simmer until the mixture is reduced by one-third and season with remaining salt.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Using a large mixer or working in batches with a food processor, purée all ingredients and strain through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids.
  • Serve sauce over shrimp and grits for a unique take on a traditional.
Keyword shrimp and grits sauce, southern sauce, southern with a twist
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