Located directly on the Georgia coast, Jekyll Island is a shrimpers haven. To celebrate this local treasure, guests are invited to the 7th annual Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits Festival, to be held Sept. 14 to 16 on Jekyll Island.
Chefs and foodies from across the Southeast flock to the food-centric festival, either to try their hand at creating the festival’s best shrimp and grits recipes, or to eat their way through the plethora of dishes available. Set under the cover of live oaks in the Jekyll Island Historic Landmark District, the Shrimp and Grits Festival provides a laid-back, relaxed Southern atmosphere complimentary of delicious coastal cuisine and great entertainment. Throughout the three-day festival, the theme is simple: taste, sip, enjoy.
For this year’s showdown, hosts Jekyll Island Authority have upped the festival ante with the addition of a craft beer tasting tent. Guests in the Craft Beer tent will have access to a sampling of the best brews in the Southern Eagle Distributors hop and malt line-up. The new tasting selection is $10 for 10 tastes, and a commemorative brew glass will be available for a $3 purchase.
Shrimp and Grits attendees can opt for dish-by-dish sampling and sipping, or treat themselves to the ultimate VIP package. VIP guests will receive up-close parking, passes for $3 dish samples, passes for lunch and sinner both Saturday and Sunday, a festival posted, a 1 lb. bag of stone-ground grits, plus access to the ultra-cool off spot, the VIP tent. An extra bonus? VIP ticket-holders receive exclusive access to their own bar and free admission to the new Craft Beer Tasting.
Throughout the weekend, activities are planned to showcase the vast variety of the staple Southern shrimp and grits recipe. An Amateur as well as Professional Shrimp and Grits cooking competition will be held, as will other cooking demonstrations, cookbook signings, an array of fine arts and craft vendors, live entertainment, and interactive activities for kids.
Plan to spend an entire day enjoying a variety of entertainment, shopping at numerous vendors, and dining on Georgia shrimp. Vendors selling shrimp and grits dishes represent some of our best local restaurants.
Opening Night Plate Samples will be offered on Friday, with plates priced at $3 each. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival will host an amateur Cooking Competition and the Professional Chef Cooking Competition- to be judged by professional chefs including Scott Jones- plus cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs Whitney Otawka, Michelle Weaver, and Rebecca Lang, who will also be on-hand to sign copies of her new book, “Quick Fix Southern.”
Looking for some dining music to pair with that shrimp? We’ve got shows lined up throughout the festival, with the like of regional favorites Soul Gravy, Honey Blue, the WharfRatz and Traveling Riverside Band, among others.
From the Kids Fun Zone and ongoing cooking demos, to the shrimp eating contests and never-ending assortment of tasty finds, the 2012 Shrimp and Grits Festival promises to dish up a good time for the whole family!
Admission to the Festival is free, but V.I.P. tickets are now on sale on the festival web site. For more information and a complete weekend schedule of the Shrimp and Grits Festival, visit www.jekyllisland.com. For more information about Wild Georgia Shrimp, visit www.wildgeorgiashrimp.com.
2 lb. unpeeled, large raw shrimp (16/20 count)
4 cups chicken broth
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
31/2 oz. prosciutto, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
11/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired.
2. Bring broth and next 2 ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Add grits; reduce heat to low. Cook, whisking often, 30 minutes or until creamy and tender. (A layer will form on top of grits as they cook. It melts with each stir. If grits become too thick, add 1/4 cup water to thin.) Remove from heat, and keep warm.
3. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto, and cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add jalapeño and next 2 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in wine. Cook, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet, 1 minute.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, and cook 3 minutes. Add shrimp, thyme, and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Top each serving of grits with shrimp mixture.
Makes: 4 servings
Hands-On Time: 40 min. Total Time: 1 hr., 25 min.
© 2012 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC/Oxmoor House
Recipe adapted from Around the Southern Table: Coming Home to Comforting Meals and Treasured Memories (Oxmoor House, Oct 2012)