Austin Blake – Chef de Cuisine, Lady May Eatery & Cocktail Parlor

Lady May Eatery & Cocktail Parlor

405 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60611


Shrimp & Grits


1 cup Weisenberger Grits (Or instant grits if preferred!)

2 cups whole milk

2 cups water (more if needed)

½ cup parmesan cheese Salt to Taste

1. Combine the grits, milk, and water in a small pot.

2. Cook on medium-low heat for about 30-40 minutes until grits are tender, stirring constantly to avoid scorching on the bottom.

3. More liquid may or may not need to be added if the grits become too thick.

4. Add parmesan when finished and salt to taste.

5. If using instant grits instead, follow directions on the packaging and add the parmesan and salt once they have finished cooking.

Pickled Okra:

2 each fresh okra

1 cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp Black Peppercorn

1 tsp Salt

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pot over medium-high heat.

2. Whisk together until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

3. Cut the okra in half lengthwise and place in a heat-safe bowl.

4. Once the liquid has reached a boil, pour over the okra.

5. Place a small plate or bowl on top to keep the okra submerged in the liquid and let cool.

NOTE: You can also just pick up a jar at your favorite grocery store!


3 each Head on Gulf Shrimp

1 cup shellfish stock

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp canola oil

1 link andouille sausage

½ tsp lime juice

½ tsp Tabasco

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp cajun spice blend (Tony Chachere’s Recommended!)

1 tsp chives, chopped

Salt to Taste

1. Heat a saute pan on medium-high heat.

2. Place the okra in the dry pan, cut side down.

3. Sear until slightly browned. This will relieve some of the slimy texture people associate with okra.

4. Remove and set to the side.

5. Add the canola oil to the pan and season your shrimp with salt.

6. When wisps of smoke begin to rise, add the shrimp and sausage and cook for about 90 seconds.

7. Once both are browned on one side, flip over and sear the other for about 30 seconds.

8. When the shrimp is mostly cooked, remove the sausage and slice into 1 inch-thick pieces and add back to the pan.

9. Add your shrimp stock and let reduce slightly, about 30 seconds.

10. Add butter and stir, letting the butter emulsify until a thickened sauce has formed.

11. Reduce to desired consistency, but avoid reducing too much as the sauce will break.

12. Add the remaining ingredients and taste for salt and acid, more of these may need to be added based on flavor preference.


1 each scallion, sliced

Slice the scallion on a hard bias and shock in ice water to curl and look pretty.

To assemble:

1. Add your cooked grits to a bowl.

2. Using tongs, place the pieces of sausage on top of the grits.

3. Stack the shrimp on top, giving the dish some height.

4. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and all around the edge of the bowl.

5. Garnish with your pickled okra and scallions, and enjoy!