The first and only time I have ever had shrimp and grits was at the House of Blues. And they were really quite good. But I could never find a recipe I liked very much, and I had other things to cook. But when my sister started saying that she made a fabulous shrimp and grits and something about Bobby Flay, I was immediately jealous. SHE has a good recipe, and I DON'T? That cannot be allowed to continue.
So I dug around on the internet, and with the help of Bobby Flay, I found a beautiful recipe that turns out some amazing shrimp and grits. Like, bowl-licking good shrimp and grits. Like, don't-touch-my-bowl-it's-MINE shrimp and grits. I mean, the shrimp are cooked in bacon fat. You can't top that. Because everything is better with bacon.
Smoky Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
Adapted from Martha Nesbit on Bobby Flay's FoodNation
3 cups chicken stock
¾ cup quick cook grits
¼ pound white Cheddar cheese or Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ pound slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch matchsticks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Whisk in the grits and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and the grains are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper and whisk just until the cheese is melted. Cover and remove from the heat.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat just until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook until curled and pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and bacon; season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the warm, cheesy grits into shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and bacon. Serve right away.
Makes 4 servings