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Recipes from a Southern kitchen
PGA Food

Recipes from a Southern kitchen

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Will Travel

With the 75th Senior PGA taking place in Benton Harbor, Michigan in just a week or so, I thought I’d run a couple of recipes from Gina and Pat Neely’s latest cookbook, Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours (Knopf 2014) with Ann Volkwein. The Neelys, known for their barbecue places and Food Network show Down Home with the Neelys, demonstrating recipes on Saturday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m. at the KitchenAid Fairway Club. The recipes I included are one for grilled succotash which Gina describes as an old Southern dish that’s been around a long time. According to her, a great succotash must include lima beans, corn, onions, tomatoes, and fresh basil. Grilling the vegetables used in making the succotash adds a smoky, charred flavor. The other, shrimp and grits, was created by Gina after she heard that Pat’s Aunt Leona added “a little pig to her version.” Grits don’t have much flavor on their own, but they absorb the flavor of whatever they’re cooked with continues Gina, adding that with the cream cheese, Parmesan, shrimp, and sausage, there’s plenty of flavor to go around in this dish.

Grilled Succotash

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups fresh or frozen shelled lima beans

3 ears corn, shucked

1 zucchini, cut on the bias into

1⁄3-inch slices 1⁄2 red onion, sliced into 1⁄3-inch-thick rings

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1⁄4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

Lemon Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup olive oil

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

Pour the lima beans into a pot of boiling salted water, and cook for 12 minutes, or until soft. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Place the corn, zucchini, and red onion on a sheet tray, and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss well together, making sure all the veggies are coated in oil and seasoned well with salt and pepper. Grill the corn until lightly charred on all sides, about 6 minutes. Grill zucchini and onions on both sides until lightly charred and soft, 4 to 5 minutes total. Remove from grill, and cool slightly.

Chop the zucchini and onion into bite-sized pieces. With a chef’s knife, cut the corn kernels from the cob. Use the back of your blade to scrape against the cob to press out the milky liquid. Put the chopped veggies, the corn, and its milk in a large bowl, and toss in the tomatoes and basil.

Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, and whisk well until emulsified. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Smoked Sausage Shrimp and Grits

Serves 4


4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken broth

1 cup quick-cooking grits

3 ounces cream cheese, cubed

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shrimp and Sausage

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced, then roughly chopped

1⁄2 Vidalia onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1⁄4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, juices drained

1⁄2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Green onions, sliced, for serving

Hot sauce, optional

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Pour in the grits, whisking constantly. Keep stirring as the grits return to a low simmer and become thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan, and the 3 tablespoons butter. Season the grits with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid, and turn the heat down to low to keep the grits warm.

Melt the 1 tablespoon butter and heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s foamy, add the sausage, and cook until browned around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the onion and bell pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant, just 1 minute. Stir in the shrimp, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp to a plate. Pour in the diced tomatoes, white wine, and heavy cream, and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened. Stir shrimp back into the sauce, taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.

Serve the shrimp over a nice mound of creamy grits, and top with green onions. Pass around hot sauce, if you like.


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