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Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits #JubileeCookbook #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of author Toni Tipton-Martin and publisher Clarkson Potter.
I received a complimentary book for the purpose of review, but all opinions are honest and they are my own.
No additional compensation for this post was provided; this page may contain affiliate links.

Today, Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin* is available for sale to the public. I have had the privilege of exploring, reading, and cooking from this book over the course of the past few weeks, after publisher Clarkson Potter sent me a copy to review. I will share that I've tried over half a dozen recipes and had a tough time deciding which recipe to share with you.

Tipton-Martin is a culinary historian, journalist, community activist, and author of the James Beard Award-winning The Jemima Code. She also has a blog of the same name, The Jemima Code, and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Southern Foodways Alliance. After three decades in the world of food writing, including being the first African American woman to hold the position of food editor at a major daily newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, it's the three words she uses in her website header and logo that speak volumes about her: author, educator, activist. Simple, succinct, and strong. I'm grateful to have made her acquaintance through this project.

jubilee / ju·bi·lee /ˈjo͞obəˌlē,ˌjo͞obəˈlē/
(noun) a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity

'Jubilee' is one of those words that accurately reflects its tone and conveys a mood. You can't say it without smiling  at least I can't. It makes me think of a celebration and in this cookbook Tipton-Martin not only shares food fit for celebrations, but she celebrates and honors the African American food story.

She writes, in her introduction, "At its core, African American cuisine reflects the blending of two distinct culinary styles. One was crafted by the ingenious and industrious field hands in the slave cabin from meager ingredients, informed by African techniques. The other signifies lavish cooking   in the plantation kitchen or in kitchens staffed or owned by people educated formally or informally in culinary arts" (pg. 12).

Starting today, and throughout the rest of the month, a group of us will be sharing our thoughts and recipes from Tipton-Martin's book. I'll update the virtual Jubilee menu as the posts go live.

When I started to explore her book, I started with the recipes for which I already had the ingredients in my refrigerator and cupboard. I made her Sautéed Greens (pg. 201), using collard greens, that were inspired by a Brazilian-style of cooking greens with an addition of tart vinegar and sweet maple syrup.

I tried her Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce (pg. 214), an interpretation of a Senegalese lamb shank mafé.

Her Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing (pg. 156) is a tribute to cookbook author, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and model Barbara Smith.

And her Honey-Soy Glaze Chicken Wings (pg. 32) takes its cues from Oklahoma caterer Cleora Butler with an Afro-Asian fusion.

Tipton-Martin's book is a stunner with tried and true recipes. I love that I have over a hundred new recipes to explore along with their history. Whenever I am asked to review a cookbook, I can always find one recipe that jumps out at me as a must-try. Good cookbooks will grab me with a several possibilities. Great cookbooks have me debating between half a dozen choices. And, then, there are cookbooks that I read before bed, dream about, and want to make every single recipe in them. Jubilee falls solidly into that latter category. Now that is cause for celebration.

Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
reproduced with permission and very slightly adapted from 
Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin

All of the recipes were delicious and relatively easy to make. But the recipe I decided to post is her version of cheesy grits topped with plump, succulent shrimp in a meaty gravy. She writes, "The historian Arturo Schomburg called it 'breakfast shrimp with hominy.' In Gullah-Geecee parlance, it's gone by names like shrimp gravy or smuttered shrimp. Casual Louisiana Creoles might call it breakfast shrimp with tomatoes" (pg. 257).

While I love a good, hearty savory dish for breakfast, I served this for dinner one evening out on the patio before the mercury took a dip towards winter. But I will certainly give it another try for a filling Sunday brunch. Soon.
Ingredients serves 4
  • 3-1/2 C water + more as needed
  • 1-1/4 C chicken stock (homemade preferred), divided
  • 1 t salt, divided
  • 1 C corn grits (not instant)
  • 2 T butter
  • 6 T whole milk
  • 1/4 C shredded cheese (I used Colby because that's what I had)
  • 1/2 C bacon, diced
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 C green onions, chopped
  • pinch red pepper chile flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used a Meyer lemon because we have a tree)
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper as needed

In a large saucepan, pour in water, 1 C stock, and 1/2 t salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in grits, 1/4 C at a time, stirring until well-blended. Bring mixture to a boil again, then reduce heat to low and simmer until tender. Mine took approximately 30 minutes. If it starts to get too thick, add water as needed. Once the grits are tender, remove from heat. Stir in the butter, milk, and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Keep warm until ready to serve.

In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat has been rendered and the bacon is cooked completely. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Leave 2 T bacon grease in the pan...remove any more than that. Turn off the heat.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and remaining salt. Toss the prepared shrimp in the flour mixture to coat lightly on all sides.

Heat the bacon fat again until sizzling. Stir in the shrimp and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the green onions, red pepper chile flakes, and garlic. Cook for another minute or two. Pour in the remaining stock and stir until the gravy is smooth and thickened, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, parsley, and cooked bacon. Season to taste, as needed; ours didn't need anything else!

To serve, spoon grits into individual serving bowls. Ladle the shrimp and gravy over the top. Serve hot.

You may find Toni Tipton-Martin on the webon Facebook, and on Twitter.
You may find the publisher, Clarkson Potter, on Instagram.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

I have also added this to #FoodieReads.
Click to see what everyone else read in November 2019: here.


  1. The party is looking good! And that Shrimp and Grits is on my list to cook up as well!

  2. What a great recipe, one of many from this book. I can't thank you enough for inviting me to this little party. I love reviewing cookbooks, especially those by fellow bloggers who have made the big-time! :)

  3. There are so many great recipes, I don't know what to try next.

  4. This was another one I wanted to try! It looks so succulent.


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