Shrimp and Grits

>> Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tonight was chili weather but I wasn't in the mood for chili. I looked at what we had in the house and I decided on shrimp and grits - down-home, hearty food. After I looked at several recipes, I decided to wing it and the results were really good. Andrew and I both enjoyed this dish a lot and it came together very quickly. The down side is that I really needed a helper (luckily Andrew stepped up to the plate) to be stirring the grits while I worked on the shrimp sauce.
Shrimp and Grits - serves 4
for the grits
2 1/2 c chicken broth
1 c white corn meal
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c white cheddar, shredded
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
for the shrimp sauce
2 T olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t oregano
1 lb spicy sausage, sliced
3 T flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth
2 T worcestershire sauce
several dashes of hot sauce
1 bay leaf
1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
green onions, chopped, for garnish
parsley, chopped, for garnish
For the grits, in a large pot over high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in cornmeal and whisk nearly continuously for the first 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and stir occasionally. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Mixture will be very thick. (Don't be tempted to add extra liquid - I did and our grits were a tad too runny.) Take it off the heat and stir in the cream, white cheddar cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile for the shrimp sauce, in a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add onions and bell pepper and saute until the vegetables start to soften. Add garlic, oregano and sliced sausage and saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until sausage has rendered most of its fat. Add the flour and stir well to make an easy roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes - remember I said this was an easy, not authentic, roux! Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly so lumps don't develop. Add the worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and bay leaf. Allow mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Pull off the heat.
To serve, ladle grits in a bowl, top with the shrimp sauce and garnish with green onions and parsley. Delicious with a good white wine!


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