Monday, September 30, 2013


Sorghum Steak and Texas Chocolates with Johnny Football

By Doc Lawrence

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS—The great Johnny Cash was from Arkansas. The state has produced Hollywood stars Mary Steenburger and Billy Bob Thornton, novelist John Grisham, president Bill Clinton, and Country music greats Iris Dement and Conway Twitty.  Football and tailgating brought me here, reminding me that Arkansas was the birthplace of college football legend Bear Bryant.

If you love unspoiled rivers, mountains, wildlife and the juxtaposition of nature with civilization. Arkansas must be included in a vacation. A trip to Eureka Springs, one of the great cities to visit in America, is an Alpine-like experience minus the theme park gimmickry. The ancient Ozarks are teeming with fish and game and if you want to reminisce about life in the fast lane, Hot Springs is a top stop. Of course, there’s Little Rock with the mighty Arkansas River flowing by the Clinton Presidential Library and the Peabody Hotel.

It’s game day in Fayetteville, showcasing the swagger of Texas A&M’s Johnny “Football” Manziel storming into town to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. Tailgating today had some added gusto.

The tents, SUV’s, customized buses and RV’s are resplendent in the university’s color, a rich red. There are statues of mascot razorbacks, honoring the ferocious hog that is equipped with more intelligence than most mammals and is fearless, often vicious if provoked. Also, it makes some great barbecue and pork roast. Wild game trumps bland industrialized counterparts every time.

Arkansas has its own venerable winemaking tradition and many of the wineries are outstanding. Post Familie Vineyards produces highly regarded wines and I was served some of them by friendly, generous denizens along with grilled chicken, roasted quall, fried catfish and other delights indigenous to the state. Locally sourced from recent harvests, the Post Vineyards Chambourcin is an easy-drinking smooth red with complex flavors that go just as well with gourmet  chocolate as venison tenderloin. The exceptional dry white Seyval (2012) is reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc, and I enjoyed generous pours from Dan Palmer and his friends calling themselves a “Band of Hogs.”

Local dining shouldn’t be overlooked in Fayetteville. College towns are by nature exciting and the culinary offerings are can be adventures. Emelia’s in the historic district enjoys a solid local following. Established by an Armenian family, the cuisine is Mediterranean/Middle Eastern and the baked Feta, lamb meatballs, Armenian tabouleh and kababs are representative of Old World traditions with some American flair. Stickybeak Syrah, an edgy but balanced Syrah from Napa was a smooth accompaniment with the spice and aromas of the exotic dishes at Emelia’s.

Arkansas is Deep South with culinary influences from Texas and the Southwest. Our Chocolate Diva Lecia Duke selected one of her productions as a finale for a great day in Fayetteville. “Since Texas A&M was playing,” she said, “a Texas Bourbon chocolate is just perfect. Garrison Brothers Bourbon is the first bourbon distillery built since prohibition
and it is located in the Texas Hill Country town of Hye.  Dan Garrison found that his bold bourbon in our fine chocolate produces a true Texas-made ‘shot.’  A great little package for toasting the tailgate finale before going home.”

It’s not all pork here in Arkansas. Enjoy this special recipe from our chef's acclaimed kitchen:

Beef Tenderloin with Razorback Sorghum Sauce
                                    By Chef Lara Lyn Carter

3lb. filet of beef tenderloin
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Remove the beef from the refrigerator and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Place the beef on a baking sheet and brush the whole filet with the olive oil. Sprinkle the beef with the salt and pepper. Roast the beef in a 275 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the beef from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of sweet onion finely diced
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups ketchup
1 cup sorghum syrup
1 cup Jack Daniel’s whiskey
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Chef Lara Lyn Carter
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. ground cloves
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil and onion. Cook the onions about 10 minutes, until they are tender. Add the garlic to the onions and continue to cook additional 3 minutes. Add the ketchup, sorghum, whiskey, sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and cloves. Cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring often, until it starts a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook additional 20 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Pour the sauce into a blender and puree the sauce for 30 seconds. Serve the sauce warm with the beef.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Bo Diddley and a Datil Bloody Mary

By Doc Lawrence

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA- You can take in the tailgating experience, add an easy walk from the Bo Diddley Community Plaza to Ben Hill Griffin stadium and have time to enjoy some impressive cultural connections in this college city. The man who played the funky guitars and penned hundreds of rock and roll classics like “Who Do You Love?” lived and died just up the road. For those who never saw him perform, think of him when you see hear The Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers or Gainesville native son, Tom Petty. Bet the ranch you’ll hear Bo’s guitar sounds somewhere.

Many who visited him will tell you that Bo Diddley cooked some incredibly delicious fried chicken.

This is America’s Cracker Country, where the descendants of Spanish horses and cattle still roam and much of the food is both old and new Florida. Now a state park, nearby Cross Creek was novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ home. Close by is The Yearling, a Cracker restaurant serving frog legs, stuffed grouper, quail, venison and cooter. Just outside Gainesville is the ancient and lovely city of Miconopy with prime examples of Cracker homes nestled between huge Live Oaks adorned with Spanish Moss.

I searched for genuine Florida food before kickoff, particularly dishes that paid homage to the Cracker influences. Leo and Sandy Carson served a casserole that combined fresh seafood, homemade sausage, chicken, rice and other vegetables. Everything seemed better with St. Suprey Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc, served well chilled because the day was hot.

The last Saturday before autumn called for a Bloody Mary. Is there one that belongs to Florida? The Datil pepper is indigenous to St. Augustine and here’s a recipe tailgaters everywhere should try, provided by Datil pepper expert Sherry Stoppelbein: Pour 3/4 cup crushed ice into shaker, add 3 jiggers vodka, 1 cup chilled tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of Sherry’s own #3 datil b good sauce. along with 1 teaspoon Tamari sauce, a pinch granulated garlic. Shake well and pour into glass, but do not strain. Garnish with celery and enjoy.

Gainesville has live theater, zoos, beautiful homes, great restaurants, canoeing and luxury lodging and is the perfect jump off location to paddle wild rivers like the Santa Fe, hike in wild nature preservers like nearby Payne’s Prairie.

Gainesville’s Kanapha Botanical Garden is a bucolic paradise. Countless trees, flowers and shrubbery line the trails while songbirds serenade the weary traveler.. The Florida Museum of Natural History is breathtaking. The Butterfly Rainforest, part of the museum, showcases some of nature’s most beautiful creatures.

Just a short drive away is Mill Creek Farm, a fabulous retirement home for horses. Cracker horses mix and mingle with giant Belgians and Palominos, while senior dwarf horses nudge up to the guests for a little love. The price of admission? “A bag of carrots, “ says owner Peter Gregory.  Still looking for thrills? Try canoeing the Santa Fe River, one of Florida’s protected wild streams. 

Pizza is a specialty at Blue Highway just outside Micanopy and top Gainesville gourmet dining is at Leonardo’s 706. Nearby Emiliano’s Café serves Nuevo Latino dishes. The pork and chicken entrees pair nicely with Sangria and always refreshing Mojitos.

1 tbsp. butter
1 large sweet onion
1 bell pepper
1 cup celery
1 clove garlic chopped
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
14 oz. diced tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
6 cups seafood stock
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. dried rosemary
¼. tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
12 oz. Andouille sausage
1 lb. large shrimp - peeled and deveined
12 oz. lump crab meat - flaked
1 cup Pinot Noir
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Chop the onion, pepper, celery and garlic; add it to the skillet cooking it over medium heat until tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside while you make the roux.
½ cup flour
½ cup olive oil
1 stick butter
Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat. Add the oil to the butter and whisk the flour into the butter and oil. Whisk constantly 10 to 15 minutes until the roux becomes a dark blond color.
Add the vegetables and garlic to the roux and then begin adding the Worcestershire, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and stock. With the heat still on medium, add the herbs and cayenne pepper. Cover the pot and allow the gumbo to simmer for 45 minutes.
While the gumbo simmers, chop the sausage into bit size pieces. Add the sausage, shrimp, crab and wine to the pot and stir well. Allow it to simmer another 15 minutes.
Ladle this rich and meaty gumbo over basmati rice. The sweetness of the rice is delicious with the spiciness of the gumbo!


They Own The East

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-Over a thousand days have passed since the Atlanta Braves, this city’s version of the boys of summer,won a championship. Winning the National League eastern division, a drought-ending milestone, was more meaningful in light of the incredible adversity-a growing list of stunning injuries-that in all rights would have pulled a lesser team into the cellar

Instead, with baby-faced Craig Kimbrell’s blazing fastball striking out the final batter, the celebration began. Years have passed since the Champagne bottles were spraying over players, coaches and reporters and what a sight it was.
I silently dedicated the moment to my late mother, as a devoted Braves fan as existed on this planet. During the Braves 1991 run, she surfaced as a devotee. Ever the quientessential lady, there was no war paint, never any feathers in her hair. She smiled when her team won and ached when they lost.

I confess terrible behavior with this team’s losses or mistakes. I embarrassed myself with rants about Dan Uggla’s helicopter swings, hitting nothing but air and the Upton brothers chasing balls all over the outfield. But I’ve confined all this to my living room, pledging to be a better sport. (I need help.)

The appearance of Jason Heywrd in the lineup after having his jaw shattered by a ball to the face in New York won me over. Seeing this young man suit up with metal plates still in his face is inspirational. He didn’t have to do it and no right thinking person would think badly of him if he took over months to recover. But, there he was in the outfield and at the plate, running like a jackrabbit when lesser athletes sit out games, disabled with hangnails or as Lewis Grizzard once observed, the “dreaded Heinekenitis.”.

Maybe there is something special about this edition of the Braves. After all, the ’91 team was not expected to do much .and came close to winning the World Series, producing legends like Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. That season, Dieon Sanders introduced the Tomahawk chop and chant to fans, forever a Braves’ tradition.

Baseball is open to the impossible. Somewhere each year, a player or a team becomes the embodiment of the American Dream. Baseball is instructive, inclusive and is the one sport where hopes grow into precious memories.

May this season continue into late October.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Duke Puts Energy In The Gameday Feast

By Doc Lawrence

DURHAM, NC-My generation called this area part of Tobacco Road, cities and business built on the tobacco industry. Today, it’s high-tech headquarters with an educated population where the new millennium is juxtaposed with rich traditions of history, architecture, and a long list of prominent Duke graduates. When you factor in lifestyles, including dining, Duke and Durham glow with excellence.

The 1942 Rose Bowl game was played here, a response to fears that there was a possibility of attacks or invasion by Japanese armed forces in Southern California with Pearl Harbor branded in the popular psyche. Duke law School counts among its alumni Richard Nixon. Melinda Gates, Charlie Rose, Elizabeth Dole and PBS newscaster Judy Woodruff.

Gameday was highlighted by the football contest with visiting Georgia Tech taking on Duke’s Blue Devils. Tailgating was, as expected, almost an all-Duke affair with food reflecting Carolina favorites: barbecue, grilled chicken, shrimp salad and different styles of hash, some served with rice flavored to perfection.

Beverages ranged from sweet tea and soft drinks to beer, wine and cocktails. One trend I’ve noticed is the growing popularity of Sangria, the wine punch that encourages creativity and experimentation. There are recipes, of course, but no law says you can’t blend your own Sangria. It wouldn’t seem to matter if you used inexpensive jug wines as the base and then added your choice of juices, fruits and a neutral spirits. I enjoyed a glass of Sangria from a Duke fan made, she said, with pomegranate juice, and Southern Comfort, plus a “secret ingredient.” Fine by me. It was wonderful.

North Carolina’s Ragapple Lassie Vineyards Viognier was served with a delightful oyster casserole. This spectacular white wine is one of the top bottles produced in the state’s Yadkin Valley. One red wine I enjoyed was Votre Sante, a burgundian-style blend from Francis Ford Coppola. It was a perfect fit with beef fajitas.

Popular ocal dining venues tell a good story about food preferences and Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue was the choice for baby back ribs (a full slab) that validated the claims that North Carolina leads the country in barbecue. I had a sample of the hand-pulled pork with the homemade spicy sauce. One word: Terrific!

Chef Lara Lyn Carter
Palmetto Cheese, Sassy Henry’s recipe for pimento cheese, has its roots in her pimento cheese prepared for Atlanta Braves tailgating. Her Palmetto Cheese was perfected in her Pawley's Island, South Carolina kitchen and found its way into the market place. She calls it “Pimento cheese with soul” and I had it with Jack and Denise Hall, Tech fans from Atlanta who served a feast before kickoff, using it as a topping for one of Jack’s Angus sliders.

The day was perfect featuring a late summer Carolina sky with loads of warmth and a salsa was appropriate. Enjoy Chef Lara Lyn Carter’s original recipe:

Vidalia Onion and Black Bean Salsa
Two 15 oz. cans of black beans drained
16 oz. can of whole kernel corn drained
16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes with peppers
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tbsp. canola oil
½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together and allow flavors to blend for 2-3 hours. Serve with chips or as a side dish.  This is super wrapped in a flour tortilla shell and served as a vegetarian burrito!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Georgia’s Classic City-Football, Food and Fun

“What you want and what you need, there's the key
Your adventure for today, what do you do
Between the horns of the day.


ATHENS, GA- On a perfect Saturday, the smoke from the grills was rising shortly after daybreak. It’s game day in this college town, home to Georgia’s Bulldogs and the host for South Carolina’s Gamecocks. Just pondering the contest and its impact stimulates the appetite.

For as long as I can remember, this city on game day has cooked, served good drinks, set good tables and consistently extended warm hospitality.

I come to Athens where special spirits linger. The great Lewis Grizzard and the finest football play-by-play announcer I’ve heard to this day, Larry Munson, still have a presence, part of Athen’s core heritage. Grizzrd made us laugh and Muson’s radio dramatics could almost provoke a heart attack.

Such things make college football the South’s most enjoyable sport, particularly when food, cocktails, beer and wines surround all the tradition and celebration.

The main dish for today is Chef Lara Lyn’s Lamb Chops, simple to prepare but balanced nicely. You want things to be a little easy on game day, she advises, and her delights from the grill are showstoppers on this fabulous late summer day.

Wine selection for the lamb led me to Dave Mathews, the cerebral rocker whose collaboration with winemaker Steve Reeder produce Dreaming Tree. Their California North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon seemed to be crafted with Lara Lyn’s lamb recipe in mind.

Just before kick-off, all the lamb chops and wines were history. Everyone, fully satisfied, was ready for a few hours of exciting football.

Other notables served under tents were several variations of Brunswick Stew, a dish that many food historians believe originated in Georgia. Lewis Grizzard shared that conclusion Wild Georgia white shrimp marinated in lime juice and bacon wrapped for good grilling is a highly popular tailgating item here in Athens and most everywhere I visit.

Cocktails across the board were noticeably high in quality with Jack Daniel’s dominating. The late season peach cobbler, a Georgia tailgate favorite became the piece de resistance.

Enjoy Lara Lyn’s lamb chops.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Sweet Georgia Onion Sauce
Eight lamb chops cut ½ inch in thickness
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped finely
Chef Lara Lyn Carter
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine the olive oil, rosemary and lemon juice together. Place lamb chops in a shallow baking dish. Rub both sides of the chops with mixture. Cover the chops with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Grill the chops over medium heat turning every 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove chops from the grill and serve with Sweet Onion Sauce.
Sweet Georgia Onion Sauce
1 large sweet onion diced
¼ cup of olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped finely
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
In a skillet combine the onion, olive oil, brown sugar, and rosemary. Cook over medium-low heat to gently cook the onions until tender and just beginning to caramelize. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar until well blended. Serve the sauce warm for wonderful flavor.displayed hospitality the right way: with smiles, generosity, and a certain flair for preparation of traditional dishes that keeps you coming back for more.

BONUS-The Datil Bloody Mary? It’s found along the Gourmet Highway:

Saturday, September 7, 2013


A Family Gathering In Georgia

By Doc Lawrence

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA-It’s named after a flower that can only be found here on and around the giant monolith just outside Atlanta. The Yellow Daisy Festival is in full swing at Georgia’s magnificent Stone Mountain Park. Blessed with near perfect weather, the parking lots were jammed, but with well-trained and courteous staff to help move things along, access was easy. And with so many displays, live music, good food and places to sit and rest, there was no need to hurry.

The Yellow Daisy Festival has been around for many years and it’s one of those that continue to grow and get better. In comparison, so many festivals including the plethora of wine and food events have lost star power with many becoming lame copycats. One stand-alone advantage with the Yellow Daisy Festival is the park itself. One of the cleanest, most orderly anywhere, security is in place, traffic controlled, litter is non-existent and the people are well behaved.

This is a gathering where you take the kids.

Along with the festival schedule-which includes a performance by the world-renowned Dirty Dozen Brass Band-there’s the lake for fishing, hiking paths galore and the challenge of climbing mighty Stone Mountain to watch the sunset, see the Atlanta skyline or reach up and touch heaven.

Despite its growth from a small arts and crafts show to the four-day event that it has become today, the Yellow Daisy Festival continues to be a big show with a small-town feel. The mission of re-connecting families and friends with fun, shopping, live entertainment and good food has remained constant over the past forty-three years.

More than 400 artists and crafters from 38 States and two countries display their works for your appreciation and purchase. Daily live entertainment, Children's Corner activities, and crafter demonstrations throughout the event as well as fabulous festival foods

Voted one of the top three arts and crafts shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event and winner of multiple awards by the Southeast Festival and Events Association, the festival continues through Sunday September 8.


Monday, September 2, 2013


Football, Barbecue, Smiles and Fabulous Wines

"When Clemson players rub that rock and run down the hill, it’s the most exciting 25 seconds in college football."
                                             Brent Musberger, ABC Sports

By Doc Lawrence

CLEMSON, SC--Only 70 miles as the crow flies separates this college town from Athens, Georgia, home to college football’s Bulldogs. The game was one of the most exciting in recent years, entertaining a national audience on television and a mass of folks seated in the stadium cloaked in orange. The inaugural for the 2013 college football tailgating season-a non-partisan visit- was all about flavors and aromas, the kind that abound in parking areas near the stadium where tailgating made the annual debut.

This Deep South tradition was born during the Civil War according to highly respected Southern culture expert Frank Spence, and no other gathering offers as much opportunity to learn about taste trends and beverage preferences. This grass roots experience defies focus group marketing strategies. Here, just before kick-off, home -grown recipes become wonderful dishes served under a bright laste summer sky. Beverages fall right into play. Just a few years ago, sweet tea, soft drinks and beer were the norm. Not now. Some truly elaborate sangrias, creative cocktails and very impressive wines are in abundance, along with spectacular non-alcoholic beverages like Reed’s Culture Club Kombucha.

Because this was a night game, the feast took on a leisurely pace. A glass of something cold gives a visitor a chance to chat and even make new friends. And arriving early allows time to visit restaurants and local watering holes, places where you might go in the future when the weather isn’t as perfect as it was on this last Saturday in August. Jeff Metz, the Athletic Superintendent for Aiken, South Carolina is one of many Clemson fans who swear they bleed orange. For those who arrive a day early, there is fine dining. Jeff’s recommends Calhoun Corners, Pixie & Bills or Blue Herron, and if you need a good watering hole, the ESSO Club, he says  “is the most popular” Ice cream? Only one palace, “the ice cream made in Clemson at the Hendrix Center.” 
Rob Mondavi Has Deep South Connections

My entourage was equipped for all the festivities, serving wines that pair almost perfectly with Chef Lara Lyn Carter’s shrimp and grits: The cheese-based grits dish needed something acidic and a great Rosé, chilled of course, worked. Rob Mondavi’s All-American family selection from his the Michael Mondavi Family Estate Wines offered the elegant and delicious Isabel Mondavi Deep Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon.  This lovely, complex wine with captivating aromas of strawberry, cranberry and red apple had mouthwatering acidity and a juicy finish that made it ideal for pairing with a wide array of tailgating dishes beyond the shrimp and grits including a slow-roasted Boston Butt that became pulled pork barbecue.

Clemson is strategically located between Charleston, Charlotte and Atlanta, near the banks of Lake Hartwell and the gourmet restaurants of Highlands, the North Carolina resort of the rich and famous. Everything comes together on game day with a rich mixture of dishes and drinks notable for variety and high quality. I met more than one visiting home bartender and enjoyed cocktails made with everything from Jack Daniel’s or Wild Turkey to many new rye whiskey expressions that are taking on a life of their own. A personal preference remains Jack Daniel’s over chunks of ice with a splash of high quality ginger ale, and nothing approaches Reed’s Premium Ginger Brew as a mixer.
Aromas Intoxicate Tailgaters

Low Country cuisine is plentiful here ranking in popularity with omnipresent barbecue: pork and chicken.. The sauces are fascinating. Never dismiss mustard-based sauces. They are full flavored, minus all the sugared ones that too often drown the wood flavor of great meat and fowl. Make one yourself in advance using Coleman’s Mustard, an exceptional product from England with lots of subtle heat.

The weekend belonged to Clemson fans, a loyal following that keeps the local economy thriving this time of year. Like so much of today’s Deep South cuisine, diversity dominated. The big difference now from the tailgaters a decade ago is the growing presence of wine and so many different delicious dishes.

Football, food, cocktails and camaraderie combine for priceless memories. Today, the countryside hints of autumn. Notice the gradual change in hues of leaves as the foliage begins to look more orange.

Chef Lara Lyn Carter

Chef Lara Lyn Carter’s Shrimp and Grits

1 cup Gayla’s Grits (or other stone ground grits like Logan Turnpike)
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon pepper
8 ounces of Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill Cheese
1 large Vidalia onion chopped
2 tablespoons of Georgia Olive Farm Olive Oil
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 pound of large wild Georgia shrimp peeled and deveined
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 stick of butter melted
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
For the grits-
Bring the chicken broth, butter and pepper to a boil.  Add the grits to the broth mixture and cook covered over low to medium heat for one hour stirring frequently.  Add water ¼ of a cup at a time as needed during the cooking to keep the grits from sticking.  During the last 15 minutes of cooking add the cheese to the grits and stir to allow it to dissolve into the grits.  This part alone is creamy delicious comfort food.
For the Onions-
Place the olive oil in a skillet over low to medium heat and add the Vidalia Onion, salt, and sugar.  Cook for 20 minutes until caramelized.
For the shrimp-
Spread the shrimp on a greased baking sheet.  Melt the butter and mix in the garlic and rosemary.  Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp and roast the shrimp in a 400-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
To serve-
Ladle the grits into 4 large serving bowls and top equal portions of the onions.  Place equal portions of the shrimp around the edges of the bowls.