While in Charleston, I enjoyed dinner at the Hominy Grill.
I had read about Hominy Grill in Southern Living magazine and could not wait to have dinner there. I was not disappointed, my dinner was wonderful. Everything is prepared fresh, with locally grown ingredients.
The cuisine in Charleston is referred to as “low country” – local fresh flavors with a mixture of African, European, Caribbean and Native American influences. Hominy Grill is a perfect example of this. They are known for great classic southern food, simply prepared and beautifully presented.
For dinner, I ordered Shrimp and Grits. Now for a true grit lover, only long-cooking stone-ground grits are worth eating. This is exactly what I found at Hominy Grill.
Some Grits history:
Grits (or hominy) were one of the first truly American foods, as the Native Americans ate a mush made of softened corn or maize. In 1584, during their reconnaissance party of what is now Roanoke, North Carolina, Sir Walter Raleigh and his men met and dined with the local Indians. Having no language in common, the two groups quickly resorted to food and drink. One of Raleigh’s men, Arthur Barlowe, recorded notes on the foods of the Indians. He mad a special not of corn, which he found “very white, faire, and well tasted.” He also wrote about being served a boiled corn or hominy.
In the Low Country of South Carolina and particularly Charleston, shrimp and grits has been considered a basic breakfast for coastal fishermen and families for decades during the shrimp season (May through December). Simply called ‘breakfast shrimp,” the dish consisted of a pot of grits with shrimp cooked in a little bacon grease or butter. During the past decade, this dish has been dressed up and taken out on the town to the fanciest restaurants. Not just for breakfast anymore, it is also served for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
I enjoyed the dish so much that I wanted to create it at home. To my delight, Hominy Grill’s recipe for Shrimp and Grits is on their webpage. I’m sharing the recipe here.