True grits

If over 20 of your favorite local restaurants, bars and food shops joined with wine and beer purveyors to offer samples of their wares under one roof, you’d be hard-pressed to find an excuse not to go, right? And, if 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, there should be no stopping you. Well, if you’re reading this on Tuesday, June 13, you should grab your appetite and a few friends and head over to UVA’s Sponsors Hall from 5:30pm to 8:30pm for “Taste This! 2006.” To give you a mouth-watering preview, we asked one of the participants, Innkeeper Alan Pyles of The Lafayette Inn in Stanardsville, to share the recipe for one of the dishes they’ll have on hand. Kindly, Pyles chose the most amateur-chef-friendly entrée, the Inn’s Shrimp and Grits. Grits, of course, are a Southern tradition—and The Lafayette Inn knows tradition, believe me. Built in 1840, the Federalist-style brick building on Main Street in Stanardsville has housed a hotel, restaurant, boarding house, Civil War hospital, telephone exchange and local newspaper.  Now open for overnight guests and hungry diners, the Inn acts as the local coffee house in the mornings, a weekday lunch spot from 11:30am to 2:30pm (with brunch on Sundays), and a romantic dining choice from 5 to 9pm Wednesdays through Sundays. So try this recipe at home, and let Pyles know how you did at Taste This! (Tickets are $40 at the door. Get more info at —Pam Jiranek

Lafayette Shrimp and Grits

8 21/25ct shrimp
1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
1/4 cup yellow and green bell pepper strips
1 oz. Southern Comfort
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup prepared fresh stone ground grits (The Inn’s grit recipe can be found at
1 tbs. clarified butter

Place pan on high heat, then add clarified butter. Toss in shrimp and sauté. When shrimp begin to turn opaque, add peppers and onion, and toss. As the vegetables begin to melt, remove from heat and add Southern Comfort. Return to heat and flambé. As flambé dies down, add BBQ sauce and simmer for 1 minute.
       To serve, place a scoop of grits in the center of a soup plate; arrange shrimp (tails up) on grits. Place onions and peppers in the center. Drizzle sauce along outside. Serves “one hungry client.”

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