I would love to have Amos Mosquito’s shrimp and cheddar grits recipe. This definitely had some kick to it and is far different than most restaurants. I’ve been spoiled dining in New York City, Houston and Chicago. I must say this was truly fantastic.
Chef Luke Maguire was happy to share the recipe for the popular Atlantic Beach restaurant, which has been open for 16 years.
Owner Hallock Howard explained in an email that the dish has been on the menu since 2008, long before Maguire took over the kitchen in 2012. She noted: “It is one of our most popular items. In the summer, we sell about 30 a night.”
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703 E. Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach
Amos Mosquito’s Shrimp and Grits
2 pounds large shrimp, deveined and peeled, reserving shells
14 cups water, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
2 whole roasted red peppers
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 tablespoons sherry
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups grits
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 cup sliced andouille sausage (half moons)
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and tender green parts only
Combine shrimp shells and 8 cups water in a large stockpot to make shrimp broth and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain shrimp stock through colander or sieve into large bowl to remove shells. Return liquid to stockpot.
To the shrimp broth, add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, red reppers, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, thyme and sherry and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the red pepper sauce or transfer in batches to blender or food processor. Return to stockpot and whisk in cornstarch. Bring to a boil until thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 6 cups water, heavy cream and butter to a boil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook until tender. Stir in cheese and 1 teaspoon salt until fully combined. Let sit over low heat until ready to serve; stir occasionally to make sure not sticking to bottom. (You can thin it out with 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or cream if it gets too thick.)
Add remaining oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic, 4 tablespoons diced red pepper, andouille sausage, mushrooms and shrimp. Saute 1-2 minutes until the shrimp are halfway cooked and the vegetables soften. Add 2 cups red pepper sauce and let reduce a little, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in butter and green onions. Serve spooned over grits.
Yield: 4 servings