Chef Eric Cook’s
Gris Gris Shrimp & Grits
1 Quart Veal Stock (or Beef Stock)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 ½ cups Milk
½ cup Yellow Grits
4 tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste
1 pound Shrimp-Save Shells for sauce
½ cup Andouille Sausage-Quartered
6 each Cherry Tomatoes-Halved
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme-picked and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper
To prepare the sauce:
Peel shrimp and devein, set shrimp aside.
Combine stock and shells in large sauce pot and simmer until reduced by half.
Place red pepper over open flame and turn until evenly charred all around. Place inside of a Ziploc bag and allow to steam for 5 minutes. Remove pepper from bag and peel away all skin and seeds. Puree red pepper until smooth and add to sauce pot.
To prepare the grits:
Bring milk to a boil in medium sauce pan. Whisk in grits and stir constantly until slightly thickened. Turn heat down to low and cover. Cook until grits are tender. Finish with butter and salt to taste.
To prepare the dish:
Season shrimp with creole seasoning and sauté until slightly curled. Add andouille to pan and cook until shrimp and sausage are fully cooked.
Add in shrimp sauce and allow to simmer until reduced by half again.
Add in cherry tomatoes and just heat through. Finish with butter and fresh thyme.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve family style:
Place grits on large platter, arrange shrimp and sausage over the top. Spoon sauce and tomatoes over and around the shrimp. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
Chef Eric Cook Executive Chef, Owner, Gris-Gris Restaurant
Chef Eric Cook, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a combat veteran who served six years in the United States Marine Corps. With training from the John Folse Culinary Institute, he began his culinary career at Brennan’s in the French Quarter where he studied under Chef Mike Roussel. Soon after, Cook joined the team at Commander’s Palace as sous chef and chef de partie. Cook has also worked as a private chef, executive banquet chef, and research and development consultant for several national restaurants. His career has taken him through some of the finest restaurants in New Orleans and he has served as executive chef for National WWII Museum’s American Sector, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, Tommy’s Cuisine, and N.O.S.H.
Cook has appeared on television shows such as Top Chef New Orleans, Off the Menu, After Hours with Daniel Boulud and News with a Twist. He has been featured in magazines such as Saveur, Cooking Light, NOLA Family, and Louisiana Cookin’. He represented New Orleans at the James Beard House “Wild About Wild American Shrimp” event in 2007, and at the grand opening of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB).
Cook also participates in the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience and Tales of the Cocktail. He has been honored to cook for the NFL Hall of Fame, the U.S. Marine Corps Ball and U.S. Navy Ball, private dinners the Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps and Vice Admiral of the Navy Reserve, and well as a special dinner for President George W. Bush, the President of Mexico, and the Prime Minister of Canada.
In 2016, Cook won the National Chef’s Taste Challenge, 1st place in the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Seafood Competition, and received the Award for Culinary Excellence from Centerplate. His barbecue team won “Whole Hog Champion” of Hogs for the Cause in 2016, and had top 10 rankings in two categories in 2018. He has also participated in Great American Seafood Cook-Off, the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, and most recently, the ACF Best Chefs of Louisiana.
An advocate for the United States military and his hometown, Cook stayed in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina to helped feed troops and first responders. He has been an active volunteer for organizations such as Wounded Warriors, The Legacy Foundation, Disposable Heroes Project, We Heart Veterans, American Red Cross, is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and is a founder and president of the First to Fight Foundation. Cook has volunteered for many charitable events such as the Steel Beach Picnic, Café Hope Mentor Program, Edible School Yard New Orleans, St. Michael’s Chef’s Charity, the United Way of Greater New Orleans, Better Than Ezra Foundation, and several schools in the New Orleans area.
In 2018, Cook opened Gris-Gris in the Lower Garden District in New Orleans where he serves classic Southern dishes and New Orleans favorites such as shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, and redfish court-bouillon. Gris-Gris has an open kitchen where you can sit at the counter, chat with the chef, and see everything being prepared, as well as a beautiful upstairs bar, wrap around balcony overlooking Magazine Street, and a private dining room with a roof-top terrace. Gris-Gris has already won awards for best chef, best gumbo, and named “Best New Restaurant of 2018” by New Orleans City Business, “Readers’ Choice: Best Restaurant of the Year” by Eater New Orleans, and “Best Bar for People Watching” by New Orleans Magazine.