Food & Drink

Cooking in Quarantine: Maria Hines Has a Recipe (and a New Puppy) to Cure Isolation Boredom

Blackened shrimp, cheesy grits and dinosaur kale (new puppy not included)

By Tricia Romano April 6, 2020


It’s going on who-knows-how-many-days of quarantine and we figure that, like us, you are tired of your own cooking. We asked local chefs to share some of their favorite safe-at-home foods to cook during the isolation period. Interested in submitting a recipe? Email

“Our philosophy at Tilth is to be here for the community to comfort them with delicious food. From our door step to yours. It’s a troubling time and connecting with food and loved ones is such a healing process.

I just got a new puppy, Hank. And he’s bringing so much joy and helping us get through this. I’m really stressed about Tilth making it through this. Tilth restaurant is my life’s work, and it would rip my heart out if it didn’t make it through this. Tilth has touched so many people’s lives and has been a part of the community for almost 14 years now. We’re going to fight like hell to keep the doors open. I’m grateful for all the love and support the community is showing us. It’s a big sign of hope and the power of tribe. I have so much to be grateful for.” 

—Maria Hines is a James Beard award-winning chef and co-founder of Tilth. You can order food to-go from Tilth To Go during the quarantine. For updates, follow Tilth on Facebook and Instagram at @tilthseattle



For the blackening seasoning:

  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp mild chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried 

For the Grits:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cups water
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 4 Tbsp parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1/2 Tbsp blackening seasoning
  • 1 sea salt, to taste
  • 1 black pepper freshly ground, to taste

For the Shrimp:

  • 20 shrimp, shelled and cleaned
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

For the Kale:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, dinosaur kale, also known as lacinato kale, or any kale you’d like!
  • 1 tsp garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili flake
  • 1 sea salt, to taste
  • 1 black pepper freshly ground, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

For the Blackening Seasoning:

  • Mix all ingredients together.

For the Blackened Grits:

  • In a pot, simmer buttermilk and water, then slowly whisk in the polenta. Stir occasionally, allow to thicken, cook, and soften (about 25 min).
    Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

 For the Kale:

  • In a saute pan, heat up olive oil, add garlic and let cook for 10 seconds, then add kale and cook until it’s partially browned from frying in the oil. Then add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.

To Complete the Dish:

  • Toss the raw shrimp in blackening seasoning and salt.
  • Heat a saute pan with olive oil and cook shrimp for 3-5 minutes, until medium rare. 
  • Then plate the shrimp with the grits and kale. Use the shrimp pan dripping’s to spoon on top of the dish.

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