I’ve had a lot of brunches in my life but one of my most memorable and favorite brunch experience was in Atlanta. Listen. I am not one to wait in line for anything over 30 minutes for food but with over 2000 reviews.. 4.5 stars.. and a bomb a** menu… we had to check it out. My friends and I kept busy for almost an hr to be seated at Atlanta Breakfast Club and let me tell you… it was completely worth it. From the chicken and waffles to the pancakes and to my inspiration for this dish… gumbo with grits. It’s the perfect place for southern comfort food mixed with southern hospitality.
For the gumbo-
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package of andouille sausage or kielbasa, cut into 1/4” slices (I used Alfresco’s Spicy Jalapeño and Chicken sausage)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes)
2 cups of okra (I used frozen)
1 lb peeled shrimp
1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tbsp dried herbs of choice (I used Mediterranean blend but you can use oregano or thyme)
3.5 broth of choice (or 3.5 cups of water + 3 tbsp mushroom seasoning)
1 10 oz can cream of celery
2 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp water ( optional)
Salter and pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish
On medium heat and in a heavy bottomed stock pot, melt the butter. Whisk in flour and continue mixing for several minutes until roux mixture if golden brown. Combine onions, celery, and pepper, cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring every now and then to evenly distribute the roux. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add sausages/kielbasa, cajun seasoning, herbs, a pinch of salt, okra, and diced tomatoes, cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add broth (or water+ mushroom seasoning mixture) along with cream of celery. Mix until the cream of celery is merged with the stock, bring to boil and reduce to simmer for the next 20 minutes. (while the gumbo is cooking, you can start on the grits). If the gumbo is too liquidity, add cornstarch slurry and stir to thicken the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste, finish off with chopped parsley and pour on top of grits.
For the grits-
6 cups of water
1.5 cups of quick cooking grits]
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of grated cheddar ( I used Mexican blend cheddar)
In a medium pot, boil 6 cups of water and add salt. Mix in the grits and lower the heat to medium low, continue stirring until grits are porridge-like consistency. Turn off heat and add butter and cheese, mix until well incorporated.