Dr. Cohen had been up until two a.m. that very morning peeling pounds and pounds of fresh shrimp from the May River- the true definition of “sea to table”. By eight a.m., there was already a line of hungry folks who ignored a light drizzle and bundled up on this chilly morning who would soon be rewarded for making the trek to the historic schoolhouse to share shrimp and grits, oyster gravy and yes - freshly baked biscuits and coffee.

Red Eye Shrimp & Grits by Carrie Hirsch

Serves 4
One of the key ingredients is a smoked andouille sausage which adds a subtle spicy note. To shorten the cooking time for this recipe, peel and devein the shrimp and slice the andouille then cover tightly and refrigerate up to a day in advance.

1 cup water
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quick-cooking grits (Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits works well)
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar or smoked Gouda
1/2 cup half and half
Black pepper to taste

4 strips thick-cut bacon
(1) 13-ounce link smoked andouille sausage, cut into 1/4” inch slices (about 2 cups)
1 cup black coffee
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Grits: bring water and broth to a boil in a medium pot, Stir in grits then reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from burner, whisk in butter, whisk in cheese then whisk in half and half and cover. If too thick, stir in additional broth.

Shrimp: fry bacon in a large, heavy skillet. Transfer bacon to paper towels, allow to cool and chop coarsely. Using the pan drippings from the bacon, fry the andouille slices over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add coffee and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Remove andouille with a slotted spoon and set aside in a covered bowl – keep warm. Add butter to the skillet, sauté shrimp for 2 minutes over medium heat, add garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute. Return andouille sausage to the skillet.

To assemble:
Spoon grits into shallow bowls, top with shrimp, andouille, bacon and sprinkle with parsley.

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Hilton Head Island boasts 12 miles of wide white beaches, more than 110 miles of scenic bike and leisure paths, 23 golf courses and hundreds of tennis courts; all on an island that is only 12 miles by 5 miles. Parents Magazine voted Hilton Head Island the #1 Best Beach Town For Families.

Enjoy paddling a kayak through the salt marshes, or watch an outdoor concert with the kids. Shop at one of our many boutiques, dine at a world-class restaurant or simply enjoy an ice cream cone while walking in the shadow of the lighthouse. Play a round then work out the kinks with a massage and cap the eveing off with a symphony performance. No matter what kind of vacation you are looking for, Hilton Head Island has it.