Food Porn Friday: Jerk Spiced Grits with Spicy Tomato Shrimp Gravy

Barbara Smith, B. Smith, Chef, Cook, Food

Chef B. (Barbara) Smith

Today on Food Porn Friday, as we celebrate National Women’s History Month, we are featuring a mouthwatering recipe from the cookbook of one of our beloved chefs, B. Smith. She became a lifestyle icon thanks to her contemporary Southern cookbooks,  with three iconic restaurants, and working as an advocate for healthy living. Smith became a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership in 2012 and worked with Ready Pac to bring culturally diverse food to the Armed Forces.

Smith made history by becoming the first black model to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. We are featuring this favorite southern recipe with shrimp and grits, coming from her cookbook, B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style.


Spicy Tomato Shrimp Gravy
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup seafood broth or stock, or bottled clam juice
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
Drained, liquid reserved and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper until softened about 7 minutes.
Add the broth, tomatoes, and reserved tomato liquid, and bring to boil.
Add the Old Bay Seasoning, black pepper, and cayenne; simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, basil, and parley, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened and the shrimp is just cooked through about 5-8 minutes.

Jerk-Spiced Grits
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1 1/2 tablespoons dried jerk seasoning or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking grits
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound garlic herb cheese spread, such as Boursin Light
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Finely chopped scallions, for garnish

In a medium saucepan. Bring the stock, jerk seasoning, and salt to boil. Slowly stir in the grits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened
Add the butter and cheese, stirring until melted. Add the parsley and stir to blend. Served immediately, garnished with chopped scallions.

Bon Appetit!

Happy #NationalWomensHistoryMonth on #FoodPornFriday!


#PressforProgress on International Women’s Day

National Women's History Month, International Women's Day, Poetry, Celebrating Women

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Today we celebrate International Women’s Day during National Women’s History Month. This month we recognize the historical achievements of women pioneers, the movers and shakers who changed the landscape of our culture and continue to change the power of perception and progress globally. In celebration of women, our impact and our accomplishments, I am dedicating my poem, We Are Woman, to every woman making a positive change around the world.

We Are Woman

We have the power to change the world
we are here, we are ready, we are strong
we motivate, unite, elevate and inspire
warriors with a strong will to fight and survive

see us, hear us, acknowledge us, woman

we are guardian angels, nurturers, and providers
we spread our wings and soar, even when we feel weak
with an unrelenting strength to feed and nourish
compassion to serve with love, dignity and humility

respect us, protect us, promote us, woman

we innovate and lead where others dare not go
we are teachers challenging the status quo
we encourage, even when we feel hurt and broken
we are mothers, sisters, maternal gatekeepers of family

we are me, we are woman, we are she

we are woman, touching the pulse of this universe
we are woman, fruit-bearers planting the seeds of plenty
we are woman, tears watering aridity and disenchantment
we are woman, recognize the impact of our global story.

©Kym Gordon Moore

For more information about International Women’s Day and the #PressforProgress movement, visit


National Women’s History Month: Lt. Annie G. Fox, First Female Purple Heart Recipient

National Women's History Month, Annie Fox

Image credit: National Archives and Records Administration

First Lt. Annie G. Fox, Army Nurse Corps, (August 4, 1893 – January 20, 1987) was the first female to receive the Purple Heart Medal for combat. She was on duty during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) as bombs rained down on the base at Hickam Field. Fox joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1918, at the end of the First World War. She saved many lives although she was not wounded. At the time the requirements for being awarded the Purple Heart did not involve injury or death. It is recorded that two years afterward when the criteria for the Purple Heart Medal was changed to those wounded or killed in action, Fox was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for her heroic act in lieu of the Purple Heart.

She’s now in the running to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill as the U.S. Treasury prepares to add a woman by 2020.


Lt. Annie Fox, National Women's History Month

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National Women’s History Month: Musical Anthems


Women! We make things happen, yet endure so much. From entertaining, inventing, homemaking, crafting and innovating to becoming entrepreneurs, partners, entertainers, space pioneers, medical and beauty professionals and…well…need I say more? I think you get the picture. As we kick off this week during National Women’s History Month, we are remembering some iconic and modern songs celebrating women.

Remember that classic song by Helen Reddy, “I am Woman?”

And what about the song “I’m Every Woman” that was made famous by Chaka Kahn in 1978 and later popularized in 1992 by Whitney Houston?

How can we forget Alicia Keys’ song, “Girl On Fire” or the liberating song “Roar” by Katy Perry? These are a few of the songs that set the tone for the rising determination and movement of women in their fight for justice and equality, refusing to be low-rated and perceived as having a weaker intellect than men. Women have historically come a long way and made some pioneering footprints throughout many enterprises.

At times it may seem like we’re trying to be a superwoman, but women are taking the helm and refuse to allow others or systems to take advantage of or abuse them anymore. Women are strong, courageous and determined, yet we are human and appreciate compassion and understanding when we are hurting.

Of course, we don’t have to be every woman, but every woman is us! This is why we sing our songs.


Celebrating Strong Phenomenal Women during National Women’s History Month

National Women’s History Month

Image credit: Photos Creative Commons / Collage designed by Amy Held

Women have always held a monumental position in history, whether they were given credit for their contributions or not. In a patriarchal dominated society, women from many cultures were led to believe they were of a weaker and inferior intellect. Of course, we know that is not true, especially as women are being recognized every day for their major contributions to unlimited industries universally, throughout history.

The National Women's History Project, National Women’s History Month

Image Credit: The National Women’s History Project

The United States Congress in 1987 designated March as National Women’s History Month. Women are stronger, smarter, devoted, loyal, dedicated and more inventive than we are ever given credit for. This year’s theme for the month is NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. While this month is an official celebration of shining the spotlight on many outstanding and pioneering women who paved paths where paths didn’t exist, we will continue to uplift and commemorate how instrumental women are and have always been in our historical footprints.

Matters of the Heart is Pure Poetry

National Heart Month, Women's Heart Health Month

This month commemorates all things of the heart. Throughout February, we celebrate National Heart Month and Women’s Heart Health Month, and of course Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Have a heart and don’t go breaking anyone’s heart, spiritually or physically!

Matters of the Heart

Oh the gentle beat
pulsating in a rhythmic strobe
filled with life robust
overflowing with love
that which is kindred and passionate
like a fairy sprinkling stardust

pain of brokenness
aches and attacks
mending to the skip of a beat
where hurt and pain dwells
a bitter pill to swallow
with healing and joy complete

the meaning of love
the core essence of the spirit
tender, honest, merry and true
where matters of the heart
form an emotional intervention
embracing the ties that bind anew.

© Kym Gordon Moore

Helga’s Swedish Meatballs for Your Super Bowl Party

Red Rooster Harlem, Helga's Swedish Meatballs, Food Porn Friday

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Typically for your SuperBowl crowd, you might serve an assortment of tacos, chicken wings, boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, an assortment of various finger foods, beer, wine, cheeses or club sandwiches. But, this year why not spice up your food spread and add a dish that is sure to be a real party pleaser for your Super Bowl shindig? Helga’s Swedish Meatballs coming from the kitchen of Marcus Samuelsson, co-founder and owner of Red Rooster Harlem, will add a delectable twist to your customary party foods.

Helga’s Swedish Meatballs
by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Owner of Red Rooster in Harlem
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Serving Size: 4 servings

For the meatballs
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 pound ground chuck or sirloin
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup lingonberry preserves
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
To garnish
  • lingonberry preserves
  • quick pickled cucumbers


  1. Combine the breadcrumbs and heavy cream in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes, until softened. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, veal, pork, onion, honey and egg, and mix well with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Add the breadcrumb-cream mixture and mix well. With wet hands (to keep the mixture from sticking), shape the mixture into meatballs the size of a golf ball, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with water. You should have about 24 meatballs. 
  5. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes until browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. 
  6. Return the skillet to the heat, whisk in the stock, cream, preserves and pickle juice, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about five minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through.  

Serve hot with mashed potatoes and quick-pickled cucumbers. 

This recipe is extracted from Food Republic. For more information and updates about Chef Marcus Samuelsson check out his website Bon appetit!

Happy #FoodPornFriday!

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