Ashley’s Chicken Walnut Salad, Creole Shrimp

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — We usually don’t talk about paranormal investigators or little ghost girls in our weekly Chef’s Kitchen stories on Spectrum News. Well, today is a new day. We’re getting into the spirit — literally —  of Halloween by cooking up two of Ashley’s of Rockledge Restaurant’s most sought-after indulgences.

“Ashley’s is on a national registry for haunted places,” says paranormal investigator Stephen Kurtzke. He offers a ghost hunting adventure on Monday nights at the restaurant.

Chef Tony Birkmire has cooked at Ashley’s for 11 years. “I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff,” he admits.

So on the menu today: Chicken Walnut Salad and Shrimp and Grits.

Let’s cook!

Chicken Walnut Salad


  • 1 pound cooked diced chicken
  • 2 sticks chopped celery
  • 1 chopped apple
  • mayonnaise (to desired consistency)


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Chill overnight to allow flavors to meld.


Creole Shrimp and Grits


  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • Chipotle sauce
  • Heavy cream
  • Raw peeled shrimp
  • Prepared grits
  • American cheese


  1. Sauté shrimp halfway.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables.
  3. Continue cooking until the shrimp and vegetables are cooked through.
  4. Add the bacon bits and diced tomatoes.
  5. Add the chipotle sauce and heavy cream.
  6. Cook until hot.
  7. Serve over prepared grits topped with cheese.