Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits. Yumm. This is a hearty dish that is great for brunch or dinner during the fall and winter seasons.

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups hot stock (shrimp, chicken, or vegetable)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup of parmesan, grated
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup stone-ground grits (These are REALLY hard to find in Yankee territory so get whatever grits you can but try to avoid instant. I always pick up a pack of grits when I am in the south to take back to Chicago so look for them when you travel)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
6 bacon slices
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper

If using quick-cooking grits (not instant), reduce cream to 3/4 cup and reduce stock to 3/4 cup.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream water, and hot stock; bring to a gentle boil. Add butter salt, and pepper. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly (so that the grits do not settle to the bottom and scorch), until all are added; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (be careful not to scorch mixture), or until the grits are tender. Add grated cheeses and mix.

NOTE: Grits should have absorbed all of the liquid and become soft and should have the same consistency as oatmeal (moist, not dry). If the grits become too thick, add warm stock or water to thin. remove from heat.

Sprinkle shrimp with lemon juice, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until brown but not crisp. Remove from heat and pat dry with paper towels; set aside. Coarsely chop bacon when cool. Reserve 4 tablespoons bacon grease in the frying pan. Add green onion, garlic, and red bell pepper; saute 10 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Add shrimp mixture and bacon; saute 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp are opaque in center (cut to test). Remove from heat.

To serve, spoon hot grits onto individual serving plates and top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with a little left over grated cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

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