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Chef’s Station: Shrimp & Grits

WakeMed Café 3000 Chef Antonio Alano was featured in this month’s issue of Foodservice Director magazine.  In the issue, Chef Antonio shared his revamped recipe for shrimp and grits.  Chef Antonio proves it is possible to make healthy food taste great! 


Cafe 3000 Chefs Rob Newmeyer (R) and Antonio Alano (L) make healthy food taste great every day.

Chef’s Station Signature Dish – Shrimp & Grits

Chef Antonio F. Alano

Servings – 4

2 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp.  garlic, minced
1.5 cups nonfat milk
8 oz. quick grits
½ cup water (if needed)
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. Andouille sausage, thinly sliced
4oz real bacon bits
¼ cup julienned vegetable blend (red onion, green, yellow bell peppers)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
12 oz. raw 31-40 shrimp, peeled & deveined
4 oz tomato, diced
1 cup fresh spinach

Poaching liquid for shrimp
4 cups water
1 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. thyme
1 tbsp. oregano

1. Heat a nonstick pan on medium-high.   Add butter and allow to melt.  Add diced onion; sauté until translucent.  Add garlic and sauté lightly.
2. Add milk and incorporate into mix.  Lower heat to medium and add grits slowly, stirring constantly.  Add water if needed.
3. When grits are cooked thoroughly, add cheese and stir.
4. Heat separate pan on medium-high.  Add oil and sausage.  Add bacon bits and stir.  Add vegetable blend and stir; then add salt.
5. In medium pot, mix poaching liquid ingredients together and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer; add shrimp and poach until pink and tender.
6. Spoon grits into bowl.  Place fresh spinach on top of grits.  Top with shrimp, tomatoes and bacon bits/sausage/vegetable blend mixture.