Shrimp and Grits (recipe courtesy of my father-in-law). This is always a hit in our neighborhood. For many, it is the first time they try grits and are surprised how much it makes this dish.
3 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup finely cubed pork Tasso (1/8" cubes)
2 cups Cajun vegetable mix (recipe below)
2 cups uncooked quick grits
5 tbsp. butter in 1 tbsp. pats
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1-1/2 tbsp. Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
Bring check broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in the grits and half and half. Cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and place two tbsp. butter on top and cover.
Place olive oil and 4 tbsp. butter in large non-stick skillet. Place Tasso in skilled and cook over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and Cajun vegetable mix. Add thyme, creole seasoning, salt. Cook until shrimp are done. Do not overcook. (shrimp should turn opaque and pink). Serve immediately in warmed bowls over grits.
Cajun Vegetable Mix:
3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 green onions finely chopped with tops
2 to 3 cloves garlic minced very fine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup celery minced very fine
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup either yellow or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup green bell pepper
Makes approximately 2 cups or a little more.
Use large Gulf Shrimp if at all possible. You want 16/20's or 21/25's. If possible, buy unfrozen fresh shrimp from a fish market.
If you cannot find Tasso, either pancetta or Canadian bacon may be substituted.