Thursday, September 20, 2012

Martha Nesbit: Smoky Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

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

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