Grits a Ya Ya

December 26, 2009

I’ve eaten at The Fish House twice and both times I ordered this delicious dish. It’s just irresistible.  I’d planned to try what would’ve inevitably been a disappointing re-creation but thank goodness for google.  I found the recipe here, which made my day!

Here’s my attempt.  It wasn’t as good as the original but with ingredients like these you can’t go wrong.  I was cooking for a big crowd so I made a lot, more than the original recipe calls for, and I improvised the amounts as I went along.

First, the grits:

  • Chicken Stock – I used about a quart and a half
  • Grits – about a pound.  The real stuff.  Nothing quick cooking.  And anything labeled instant doesn’t even count as grits.
  • Smoked Gouda Cheese – 4 to 6 ounces
  • Cream
  • Butter – a tablespoon or two

Now the rest:

  • Applewood Smoked Bacon – I used 12 ounces
  • Fresh Shrimp – I made a bunch, about 5 dozen
  • Shallots -  a couple, minced
  • Garlic – a couple tablespoons minced
  • Green Onions – 3 or 4, thinly sliced
  • Fresh Spinach – a bunch
  • Portobello Mushroom Caps – a handful of slices
  • Butter – couple of tablespoons
  • White Wine (not shown) – a splash or two
  • Cream – a cup or two
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Hot Sauce – a dash or two or three

Mince the garlic and shallot.Slice the green onions.Grate the cheese.Dice the bacon.I was going to take the (lazy) busy way out and leave the shells on but my father-in-law offered to peel and devein the shrimp. Bring the stock to a simmer in a large pot and stir in the grits.  Keep stirring for a while so it doesn’t end up lumpy.  Reduce the heat and simmer for a while, stirring occasionally and thinning with a bit of cream here and there as needed.Cook the bacon over medium to medium high heat until it just starts to get a bit crispy around the edges.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook another minute or two.Add a splash  or two of wine and a tablespoon or two of butter.When the butter is nearly melted add the shrimp.Cook the shrimp until the underside is turning pink.  Flip them over and add the green onion and mushrooms.Add the spinach and cook another minute or two, until the shrimp is done.Remove the shrimp and set it aside.Add the cream and cook for another few minutes.Meanwhile, stir some butter and the cheese into the grits until it’s all gooey and melted.Season the spinach mixture with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.Stir the shrimp back in just long enough to get it all coated.Serve immediately by scooping up a big bunch of grits and dishing the Ya Ya over the top.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin March 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

This is my Dad’s absolute fave dish in the entire world. He eats it every single time he goes to The Fish House. So happy I can pass this on to him!


2 Sofie June 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

Mhmmm this looks delicious!
I’ve just discovered your blog today. But I’ll defenitely try some of your recipes! The pictures are awesome by the way.




3 Marielys in Daytona Beach June 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I just found your website and I’m absolutely enthralled with the recipes and your pictures. Oh, and you shop at Publix, where shopping is a pleasure! ^_^ That grabbed my attention. I’m hooked now, though!!


4 Ann reed June 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Can you make this dish early in the day and serve for dinner later?


5 Karen Bove June 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I’m not sure how it would turn out if it sits too long? Certainly the prep work can be done way ahead and I’d guess the grits would reheat nicely.


6 Kacey August 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Hi There,
I just stumbled upon your blog for the first time when searching for a recipe for The Fish House grits. Your site is wonderful and your pictures make me want to jump in the kitchen right now and make EVERYTHING! Thanks and I look forward to following along with your foodings!



7 Erin October 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

Hey Karen!
I made this last night! Phenomenal!!! Did you not find the grits too salty when made with the chicken stock? I think next time I will just use water. But YUM! The portobello mushrooms were amazing in this dish. Will be blogging this recipe and pointing it back here :)
Thanks for the gorgeous photos.


8 Karen Bove October 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Isn’t that great stuff? I wish I could take credit for it but it comes from the always-terrific Fish House in Pensacola.

I made gouda grits again recently and used about half stock and half water. I suppose it depends on how salty the stock is?


9 Elisabeth Rigsby December 5, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I love your website. I just found it tonight – I have 10 tabs open with the recipes I want to make. I was so excited about the Grits a ya ya! I love that dish! I’ve never ordered anything else at the Fish House. Thanks for your website! I will be checking back often!!


10 Karen Bove December 6, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thanks for reading. I don’t make it up to Pensacola very often but I visit the Fish House on every trip. The Grits a Ya Ya aren’t to be missed.


11 Jessica January 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I go to Pansacola every year to celebrate Memorial Day with friends and this year we went to the Fish House (it was my first time, but my friends who are local, RAVED about the place). I was (of course) going to order fish, but I saw the full page “advertisement” for Grits A Ya Ya, I figured that anything worthy of its own full page in the menu must be awesome! And it WAS AMAZING! I am so excited to have found the recipe and all of your precise instructions and beautiful photos. I plan to make this dish for my in laws for a birthday dinner and I will definitely be using your site for help the whole way. thank you!!


12 GGinFlorence October 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Oh, this just sounds amazing! I lived in Pensacola as a child in the 50′s and there was nothing like this back then!


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