Making shrimp and grits for 40 that needs to be done two to three hours in advance, how to keep hot. Any and all advice appreciated.
That's a problem- shrimp is very easy to overcook; keeping it warm for that long will not be good. You'd probably somewhat better off letting it cool and reheating it, but that's far from ideal. As far as doing it in one or two batches, really a matter of what equipment and facilities you have available.
If it was for dinner tonight, this answer is too late.
If in future, here goes:
Generally, cooking anything more than a double recipe brings problems, so your first idea (to do two batches) is a good one.
Another thought (re what Smaug said about the shrimp):
Since the grits take longer to cook than the shrimp, separate the two parts of the recipe. Make the grits (whether in one or two batches, again depending on size of available cookware). Then separately saute the shrimp to taste, and serve all at once.
PS With the 3-4 hour gap between cooking and serving grits, hold them in fridge, then warm in oven or over boiling water. Or, in a pinch, in mw.
More ideas if no cooking possible just before serving.
change to one of these options:
• change venue so you have way to cook shrimpbat last minute
• cook shrimp and grits as directed, hold in fridge, serve cold or at room temp
• change recipe slightly to make it as a salad
• change main dish completely so not dependent on last minute cooking or fear of overcooked shrimp.
Good luck and please tell us what you do.