Dear SOS: Please see if you can get a recipe for shrimp and grits at Jack Fry’s restaurant in Louisville, Ky. It is one of the best things I’ve eaten.
We wondered if this letter could be from the Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas fame, so we called the writer and learned that it was indeed the actress-singer looking for a recipe. Phillips, it turns out, is also a skilled cook who can usually detect what’s in a restaurant dish and re-create it at home.
She loved the shrimp and grits she tried at Fry’s, but couldn’t figure out the recipe. “It doesn’t sound like much, but I tell you, it is so delicious,” she says.
Chef Shawn Ward’s recipe calls for cooking the shrimp in red-eye gravy made with Madeira, shiitake mushrooms and fresh thyme, and serving them on creamy grits enriched with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Because the Kentucky country ham Ward uses is hard to find, we substituted Virginia ham, which is available at Bristol Farms and 99 Ranch markets.