shrimp and grits

shrimp and grits

The Shrimp
1TBS vegetable oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBS fresh basil, chopped
1 TBS fresh thyme

2 bay leaves
1 cup canned tomatoes

1 cup tomato juice
1 cup shrimp, chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 TBS freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 TBS cold butter

In a 4-quart pot, preheat vegetable oil and saute onions, celery, and green peppers on high heat until tender. Add garlic, jalapeno pepper and herbs and saute for another 2 minutes.

Add the remainder of the ingredients except the shrimp and butter. Lower heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Allow sauce to cool then process in a blender; puree to a smooth consistency. This can be done a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Place the shrimp and refrigerated sauce into a large pot on low heat, stirring frequently to ensure even cooking. The shrimp should be done in 10 minutes; don’t overcook! When the shrimp are almost ready, stir in the butter.

Quickly remove the shrimp and set aside.

The Grits

2 cups grits, not instant
5 cups shrimp, chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups white cheddar cheese

1 TBS salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

3 cups cornmeal
2 cups vegetable oil

Place stock and cream in a 2-quart pot. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.

Stir in the grits and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Stir in cheese, salt and white pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Taste the grits and notice the texture. When the grits have a smooth, creamy feel in your mouth, they are done. If they still have too much texture, add a cup of water and continue to cook.

Pour the grits into a sheet pan about 1 1/2 inches thick and allow them to cool in the refrigerator. When thoroughly cool, cut into 3- to 4-inch circles or squares. At this point, grits can be reserved for a few days and kept in the refrigerator.

Dust the grits with cornmeal. Set them aside until ready to fry.

Preheat oil to about 350 degrees in a large saute pan or tabletop deep fat fryer. In small batches, fry the grits to a golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

The Assembly
On each plate, ladle about 3-4 ounces of warm sauce. Place grits over the sauce and then stand the shrimp up in the grits.

Serve immediately.

And enjoy…!

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