Carla Hall shares shrimp and grits recipe

·4 min read

If you're craving some comfort food, a special soul food treat may be just what you need. Celebrity chef and author Carla Hall shares a delicious recipe for some home made shrimp and grits with fennel potlikker.

Shrimp and Grits with Fennel Potlikker


2 ½ cups (or more) fennel potlikker, divided

1 cup stone-ground or regular yellow grits, rinsed, drained

1 bay leaf

3 teaspoons. Diamond Crystal or 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped fennel stems

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 plum tomatoes, cored, finely chopped

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fennel fronds


1.Combine 2 cups potlikker and 2 cups cold water in a medium saucepan; whisk in grits.

2.Set pan over medium-heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add bay leaf and 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal or 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt.

3.Cook, whisking often, until grits are thick and creamy, 40-45 minutes if using stone-ground grits or 20-25 minutes if using regular grits.

4.Stir in 1 teaspoon pepper and season with salt. Remove and discard bay leaf. Cover pan and keep grits warm over very low heat, whisking occasionally.

5.Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal or ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper.

6.Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, add shrimp to skillet and cook until just opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to plate.

7.Reduce heat to medium. Add fennel stems to skillet; cook, stirring often, until starting to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.

8.Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

9.Add tomatoes and remaining ½ cup potlikker. Bring to a simmer and cook until tomatoes have fallen apart, about five minutes.

10.Return shrimp to skillet and cook until opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper; remove skillet from heat.

11.If grits have stiffened, loosen with a little more potlikker or water before dividing among bowls. Top with shrimp and sauce. Scatter fennel fronds over.

Fennel Potlikker


3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large fennel bulb, cut into eight wedges

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal or ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt

2 tablespoons Pernod

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, fennel, celery and salt; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add Pernod and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until Pernod is evaporated, about 1 minute. Pour in 5 cups water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 45 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium heatproof bowl; discard solids.

Potlikker can be made five days ahead. Let cool. Transfer to an airtight container and chill, or freeze up to three months.

Lemony Spring Vegetable and Barley Bowl


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup pearl barley

3 cups fennel potlikker

1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal or 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt, plus more

1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

½ cup mint leaves


1.Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.

2.Cook asparagus, stirring often, until softened and bright green, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high and add barley to pot. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

3.Add potlikker and 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal or 1 ¾ teaspoon Morton kosher salt; bring to a boil.

4.Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer until barley is tender and doubled in size and liquid is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.

5.Uncover pot and stir in peas. Cook until peas are tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and reserved asparagus; season with salt and pepper.

6.Divide barley among bowls. Top with lemon zest and mint.

Carla Hall shares shrimp and grits recipe originally appeared on

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