Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival (and a giveaway!!)

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shrimp and grits cookWhether you’re from the South, live in the South, or have never even been to the South, you’ve surely heard about one of the most-beloved dishes south of the Mason Dixon: shrimp and grits. Y’all, let’s be honest – this is a duo you want to make a regular in your kitchen.

There’s something truly irresistible (and irreplaceable) about the cozy combination of creamy grits and juicy shrimp. Whether you stick to traditional versions or turn up the heat with flavor and spice, this is one dish sure to provide the same comfort you find in a rocking chair on momma’s front porch.

To celebrate this timeless pairing, Jekyll Island, Ga. is hosting its 8th annual Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival from Sept. 20 to 22. This spirited three-day event is the only festival dedicated to the prized local product, Wild Georgia Shrimp, and its Southern counterpart, grits.

shrimp and grits6The theme is simple: taste, sip, enjoy, repeat! Whether you’re a chef, foodie or shrimp and grits lover, this laid-back event, held under the cover of live oaks in the Jekyll Island Historic Landmark District, is worth your while. From never-ending options of shrimp and grits dishes and chef demonstrations, to live music, arts and crafts vendors, and a Craft Brew Tasting, the annual festival is a true playground for good (and tasty) times. General admission is free but tickets to specific events can be purchased online.


WildGaShrimp4If you can’t make the trip to Jekyll Island for this knock-out festival, test out this crowd-pleasing recipe courtesy of Vanessa McNeil Rocchio – food stylist, editor and test kitchen professional at Southern Living – who will also be attending this year’s festival as a special guest.

To make the recipe even tastier, enter below for a chance to win the ultimate shrimp and grits package courtesy of Jekyll Island. One lucky winner will receive 5 lbs. of Wild Georgia Shrimp (shipped directly to their doorstep on dry ice), 2 lbs. of Old-Fashioned Speckled Yellow Grits from north Georgia’s Logan Turnpike Mills, and a beautiful Jekyll Island coffee table book.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grilled Shrimp and Smoky Grilled-Corn Grits
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked, quick-cooking grits
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons minced, canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound peeled, jumbo raw shrimp with tails (1 6/20 count), deveined
  • 16 (6-inch) metal skewers
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • ½ package (8-oz.) fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Grill corn, covered with grill lid, 10 minutes or until done, turning once. Cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.
  2. Bring salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits. Cook grits, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until thickened. Stir in corn kernels, cheese, and chipotle pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Stir together olive oil and next 3 ingredients (lemon juice, garlic, ground pepper) in a large bowl. Toss shrimp with olive oil marinade mixture; let stand at room temperature 3 minutes.
  4. Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers alternately with tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper pieces.
  5. Grill kabobs, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve kabobs with grits, and sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Vanessa McNeil Rocchio, Southern Living

Disclosure: This post and giveaways are sponsored by Jekyll Island, Ga.
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  1. Pamela L. Dolen says:

    Sounds Yummy!!

  2. Andrea Kenyon says:

    I love to make shrimp sacmpi!

  3. I would make shrimp and grits! One of my favorite meals!

  4. Sheila Shapley says:

    Grew up in Southern Georgia/North Florida and I do love me some Grits and Shrimp. I love to make Frogmore Stew or Lowcountry Boil. But I love shrimp just about anyway you can serve it.

  5. I love southern bite and their recipes. Cant wait to sit down to shrimp and grits with the family!

  6. Lynda Blackmon says:

    YUM LOVE GRITS,with shrimp

  7. Love some shrimp! I’ve never had them with grits but am ready to try them!

  8. I also make a mean shrimp and grits but I would use the shrimp this time for something different. I would take the shrimp and stuff it with jalepeno and wrap it in bacon and throw it on the grill!

  9. First time I ever had grits was visiting New Orleans, fell in love and now have them in every restaurant that serves them. Love Po’Boys w/shrimp & oysters, scampi, fried, or skewered on the grill. Anyway you set them in front of me , I will eat them!

  10. Manny way steam them or sreved with sinach never tried them with grits

  11. like them on the grill

  12. My favorite way to use shrimp is making shrimp scampi

  13. Tracey Henderson says:

    I would love to win some jumbo shrimp, grits and the Jekyll Island coffee table book. I love to grill shrimp, too.

  14. Janet Larson says:

    sounds like a blast!!

  15. fried coconut shrimp

  16. A neat gift basket, would sure love to have it. For sure.

  17. Maxine Lukas says:

    LOVE shrimp n grits! So hard to find good ones in the north!

  18. I love shrimp any way I can get it…but I absolutely adore shrimp and grits!!!

  19. Kim Landers says:

    Love Shrimp & Grits… it’s a Southern Thang!

  20. My daughter and I LOVE shrimp any way they are cooked. I would probably try a new recipe that I saw baking them with butter/garlic.

  21. Love shrimp & grits!

  22. Chris Kelly Lasch says:

    My husband and I love to make shrimp cocktail and arrange it in a pretty martini glass.

  23. Rebecca Acey says:

    Love making Cheesy Shrimp on Grits Toast!!! 🙂

  24. Betty Vereen Hill says:

    I would love to win this prize.

  25. Holy Moly! Shrimp and Grits rock!

  26. Lisa Wright says:

    OMG!! Great Give-a-way. Love shrimp and grits

  27. I love shrimp and grits! Need to try your recipe soon! Thanks!!

  28. Francene Kaufman says:

    I like to make kabobs with shrimp, chunks of onions and green, red.& yellow peppers and grill them. Also stir fry with vegetables, shrimp, and rice noodles.

  29. I love shrimp and I love grits but I’ve never had shrimp & grits! Shameful, I know!!

  30. My favorite way to use Georgia Shrimp is in Shrimp/Grits and Low Country Boil.

    By the way, I live approximately an hour from Jekyll Island. I LOVE Shrimp and Grits, so I am planning to attend the event. I would love to write a guest post for a follow up post for your blog. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Please contact me if you’re interested.

  31. sauteed in Kerrygold butter & herbs fresh from my garden with pasta & homegrown tomatoes

  32. My mouth is watering at the thought of winning this contest! I love shrimp and I love grits – but I’ve never had them together. I would certainly like to try!

  33. Sharon Gentry says:

    I love your blog and recipes!!

  34. I love shrimp and grits. I have never made it so this would give me a chance to do so for my husband who loves shrimp more than I do. I also love coconut shrimp.

  35. Yummy. Sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to try this new receipe!!

  36. Scampi or grilled with lime and cilantro.

  37. Would love some fresh shrimp from Georgia!! I am from Fl. but now live in Tn. so I sure miss having fresh shrimp!

  38. I love some Shrimp Scampi! Also I tried to TWEET about your contest but it told me ERROR YOUR TWEET EXCEEDS 140 CHARACTERS….. THEN IT WOULDN’T LET ME CANCEL THAT I HAD TWEETED> I TRIED TO TWEET IS ALL….

  39. bigblondeinsc says:

    I love me some “shrump”!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Gail Ann Wacker says:

    Couldn’t leave a comment when entering the contest… shrimp tacos with avocado slices…..

  41. Shrimp ANYWAY!!!!! 🙂

  42. mm…some would be as is with a hot seafood sauce, some with garlic and butter with linguine… maybe a shrimp salad? oh there are so many choices!

  43. I hope I win!!

  44. Susan Dingess says:

    Shrimp scampi is my favorite way to prepare shrimp!

  45. OMGGGGGGGGG yummy

  46. Martha Reaves says:

    This would be great to serve when my family comes from Alaska. We could have a Low Country Boil.

  47. Shrimp Tacos! Yummm!

  48. I love to make boiled shrimp and shrimp scampi!! But, shrimp anyway is delicious!!!! 🙂 YUMMY!!

  49. Shrimp?…any way I CAN HAVE THEM! I saw a recipe for pickled shrimp…gonna try…and coconut too!

  50. David Branch says:

    So many delicious ways to prepare shrimp…sauteed with garlic…grilled…and definitely shrimp and grits! Yum!

  51. Shrimp scampi. Honestly, fried,boiled,steamed,pickled – you get the idea, any way I can get them.
    WILD CAUGHT!!!!!! No farm raised for me.

  52. I’m from central Florida and my mother is from Ga. and always talked about her “Shrimp and grits”! I love them both! Especially shrimp marinated and cooked on the grill.

  53. We love shrimp & grits…and grits and shrimp…….

  54. emily willingham says:

    my favorite way to use fresh georgia shrimp is to roast them in butter, lemon juice, and garlic – the broth it makes is amazing – sop it up with some garlic bread

  55. I love shrimp and grits.

    • Interesting, I cooked pltenoa for the first time the other night and decided I’m not a fan. Now I’m thinking I was too light handed with the flavourings and I should have stuffed as much flavour as possible. I only put in a little cheese and a little butter. How much cheese is too much cheese when it comes to grits? I’ve never had pltenoa or grits before so I’m not sure what I’m aiming for.

      • As far as I’m concerned, there’s never too much butter or cheese! 🙂 The flavors for both polenta and grits are mild, so it’s important to add the flavor. My personal opinion is that most people under salt them both.

  56. I love shrimp and Grits (G.R.I.T.S. = girls raised in the south).

  57. I have the recipe from the local hotel at the festival (they give the recipe out free), and I love making their version of shrimp and grits!!

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