Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Andouille-Parmesan Grits

Cinderella's castle at Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

Last Thanksgiving, while visiting family in Orange County, we made a pilgrimage the original Disneyland. My last visit was when I was 2 1/2 years old. To say I didn’t remember it was right and wrong. Growing up in Orlando, FL, Walt Disney World was in my backyard and we made regular trips to the House of Mouse several times a year, whether we had guests in town or not. So while it had been many decades since I last visited the original Disneyland, it wasn’t unfamiliar to me. I was however, amazed at how small it was comparitively. I knew from years of comparisons that it was smaller, but you just don’t get how much smaller until you’re there. Don’t get me wrong, its not bad smaller, just scale wise, if you’re used to one perspective, the other perspective is startling.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA

What was new to me was the California Downtown Disney. I know, Orlando has one of those, too, but I’ve been gone long enough that whatever was there, isn’t any longer. So when my cousins and I went through Downtown Disney to get to the park entrance we walked past Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and then we stopped in for lunch. I’m a sucker for all things NOLA, and since one of the venerated restaurant families of NOLA agreed to put their name on a Disney restaurant, I had to try it. Expectations were high (A Brennan’s restaurant at Disney!) and low (we weren’t in NOLA, we were in Southern California). Anyway, I had a very traditional NOLA recipe – Barbequed Shrimp and Grits. Let me be perfectly clear: I . WAS . NOT . DISAPPOINTED. I was so not disappointed that I searched high and low for the recipe, and finally found it on the Downtown Disney website which was easy to find thanks to the great hosting it has from sites as Armchair Empire. I’ve made the grits a number of times, and this has to be one of the easiest recipes ever. They are good as a side dish for many other meals — to be perfectly frank, we love these grits so much, sometimes, a bowl of these ARE dinner with a bit of french bread. Those on a diet should opt for a small portion, as there is a full stick of butter, heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese in this side dish. The recipe for both Shrimp and Grits are below. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

BBQ Shrimp & Grits on a white square plate

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Cafe BBQ Shrimp & Grits

Andouille-Parmesan Grits


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 pound andouille sausage, diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup grits
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese * I add 1/4 cup cos I love Parmesan Cheese!
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Coarse salt, to taste

Combine butter, onion, and andouille sausage in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in grits and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Whisk in cream and cook, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add salt to taste.

Barbeque Shrimp


  • 1 pound medium shrimp (about 30 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup shrimp stock (may substitute chicken stock)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, garnish

Combine shrimp, stock, lemon juice, Worcestershire, pepper, Creole seasoning, and garlic in a large, deep-sided sauté pan over high heat. Simmer, turning shrimp over, until shrimp are just firm and opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add butter to the pan, swirling butter into sauce. Scoop grits into a shallow serving bowl. Top with shrimp and sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.