Shrimp and Grits

April 8, 2014
Brunch, Seafood

Serves: 4 to 6

*You can purchase good quality shrimp stock from your fishmonger or make the very easy recipe below.

Shrimp Stock
5 cups raw shrimp shells, heads and tails (about 2 lbs), rinsed well
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 medium celery stalk , coarsely chopped
1 cup white wine
2 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1. In a large saucepan over high heat, heat the oil until almost smoking and sauté, stirring occasionally, the shrimp shells and tails, onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add 10 cups of cold water, the tomato, bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, skimming the surface occasionally, for 40 minutes.

2. Strain the stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible and discard the solids. Stock can be made 2 days in advance and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator or frozen up to 3 months.

Grits
4-5 cups shrimp stock or vegetable stock or a combination of milk and water
Salt
1 cup yellow stone ground cornmeal
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, (green part) thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Bring 4 cups of the shrimp stock and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the grits are soft and have lost their gritty texture, whisking every few minutes, 25-30 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add remaining stock and continue cooking until absorbed. Add the cheese and heavy cream and whisk until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

2. Divide the grits among 4 bowls and top each with 5 shrimp. Drizzle the top with some of the bacon/garlic oil (that the shrimp were sautéed in) and sprinkle with some of the green onion.

Sautéed Shrimp
½ pound thick double-smoked cut bacon, cut into lardon
20 large (21-24 count) shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place bacon in a medium pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown and crisp and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

2. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan and place back on the heat and increase the heat to high, season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add the shrimp, garlic and thyme, in batches, if needed, to the pan and sauté until the shrimp are lightly golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove shrimp to a plate. Reserve the garlic oil left in the pan to drizzle over the finished dish.