The searing heat of a grill adds a new dimension to shrimp and grits, a southern staple usually cooked gently on the stovetop. First, corn is well charred directly over grill grates, then the kernels are stirred into a pot of cooked grits to add texture and a deep caramelized flavor. Next, shrimp are quickly cooked in a hot Field Skillet while being basted constantly with butter, a technique we often use when cooking steaks and pork chops in cast iron. Finally, it all comes together in a meal that can be made from start to finish in about 30 minutes.
Corn always takes longer to char than you’d think—and it’s near impossible to over-char corn—but that patience pays off with the beautiful flavors brought out by the caramelized kernels.
Shrimp is quite the opposite of corn: it cooks much faster than most proteins. You’ll know the shrimp are cooked through when the flesh at the head end of the shrimp turns opaque.
Recipe: Seared Shrimp and Charred Corn Grits
4½ cups water
1 cup grits (not quick-cooking)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ears of corn, shucked
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
Hot sauce, for serving
The Field Method for Cast Iron Care
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add half of the butter and 1 tablespoon salt and stir until the butter has melted. Slowly add the grits, whisking constantly. When the water returns to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot grill. Add the corn and cook, turning frequently, until well charred on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and, when cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs. Stir the corn kernels into the grits and keep warm.
Place a No.10 Field Skillet over a medium-hot grill. Season the shrimp all over with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the shrimp and cook, basting constantly with the butter, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Divide the grits among 4 bowls and top with the shrimp. Spoon some of the leftover butter around the grits. Garnish with the scallions and serve with hot sauce.
Seasoning Rating: Better
While butter isn’t the best fat for seasoning a new cast iron skillet, it will contribute some seasoning.
Best—These dishes are the best options for building resilient seasoning, and surefire choices for getting tricky pans back on track.
Better—The best way to keep your skillet in great shape is to cook frequently, and cast iron-friendly dishes like these are your bread and butter.
Safe—These recipes won't strip seasoning away from your pan, but won't really add any, either.
OK—Be sure to clean up promptly. Recipes with this rating might feature acidic ingredients which can affect seasoning if not washed soon after cooking.