Our Gourmet Club met recently on a beautiful summer evening celebrating all foods southern. Our menu included: Shrimp and Grits, Pork Loin, Ham, Cornbread, Okra, Veggie Salad, Succotash and two kinds of pies: Sweet Clafoutis and Buttermilk.

I’m including a couple of the recipes.

Shrimp and Grits

1 cup coarsely ground grits
3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups half-and-half
2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 lemon, juiced
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
5 slices bacon
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Bring water, grits, and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan with a lid. Stir in half-and-half and simmer until grits are thickened and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper; drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside in a bowl.

Place andouille sausage slices in a large skillet over medium heat; fry sausage until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Retain bacon drippings in skillet. Transfer bacon slices to paper towels, let cool, and crumble.

Cook and stir green, red, and yellow bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the bacon drippings until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

Stir shrimp and cooked vegetables into the andouille sausage and mix to combine.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is medium brown in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, mixture burns easily.

Pour the butter-flour mixture into the skillet with andouille sausage, shrimp, and vegetables. Place the skillet over medium heat and pour in chicken broth, bacon and Worcestershire sauce, cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and the shrimp become opaque and bright pink, about 8 minutes.

Just before serving, mix sharp Cheddar cheese into grits until melted and grits are creamy and light yellow. Serve shrimp mixture over cheese grits.


Veggie Salad

1 cup cut up carrots
1 cup corn
1 cup diced cucumbers
Sprinkle of minced onions
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes


2 Tbl. flaxseed oil
2 tsp. honey
2 Tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. onion flakes

Mix dressing together well and stir into vegetables


Buttermilk Pie

1 cup sugar
2 Tbl. flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 baked 9-inch pastry crust
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, flour and nutmeg in mixer bowl. With mixer at medium speed, beat in eggs until smooth. Beat in buttermilk, butter and vanilla to blend. Pour into baked crust. Sprinkle top with coconut and pecans. Bake 40 – 45 minutes until filling is just set. Cool on wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 8

Sweet Clafoutis

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
scant 1/2 cup ground almonds
2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
7 Tbl. creme fraiche
7 Tbl. milk
12 oz cherries, pitted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 7 and 1/2  by 4-inch baking dish or pan. Whisk the eggs with the sugar and salt until pale yellow and thick. Stir and fold in the ground almonds and flour, then stir in the creme fraiche and milk. Spread cherries evenly across the prepared dish. Pour the batter over the cherries and bake for 30 – 40 minutes.