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This pimento shrimp + grits recipe from "Iron Chef" champion Justin Sutherland (you may also know him from "Top Chef" or truTV's "Fast Foodies") is a favorite at his restaurant, Handsome Hog in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Pro Tip: Top with a poached egg for a brunch-worthy dish or serve with Rach's Buttermilk-Brined Southern Fried Chicken for a delish + hearty meal.  

Click here to watch Rach surprise Justin in honor of his work with his non-profit, The North Stands—which supports unemployed hospitality workers + struggling businesses—and Inner City Ducks, which provides children with after-school sports, activities + mentorship.


  • 2 cups coarse-ground grits
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ⅛ cup diced green pepper
  • ⅛ cup diced celery
  • ⅛ cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup chopped canned tomato
  • 2 cups shellfish or seafood stock
  • ½ pound rock shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ⅛ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup diced canned pimento peppers 
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallion 


Serves: 3 to 4


Cover grits with water, bring to a low boil then simmer until water is almost absorbed. Add milk and cook until creamy, stirring, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil and cook the green pepper, celery, onion, and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter until melted, then stir in flour to make a light roux. Stir in tomato and shellfish stock and once combined, add shrimp and spices. Lightly poach shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes.

Once grits are cooked and creamy, stir in cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and sour cream until melted, then fold in pimentos and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Season shrimp with lemon juice, hot sauce (if using), salt and pepper. 

Spoon grits into a shallow bowl, top with shrimp and sauce, and garnish with scallions.