Shrimp & Grits…A Family Favorite

Shrimp & GritsLooking for a great way to warm your soul this winter?  I’ve got the perfect recipe- Shrimp & Grits!

This is my mother’s recipe and I don’t think you can improve it one bit.  If you are looking for good shrimp, I happen to know a vendor at Farmers Market of the Ozarks that has quite the hook-up.  Larry Burt, better known as Big Pop of Big Pop’s Louisiana Seafood is our resident seafood guy at market.  He travels down to LA weekly to pick-up fresh seafood, right off the boat.  He used to be a fisherman in LA himself, so he know’s exactly what to look for.

Enjoy this dish on a cold evening and warm up in a jiffy!

Mom’s Shrimp and Grits
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups water 1 1/2 cups hot stock (shrimp, chicken, or vegetable)
1/4 cup butter
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup stone-ground grits**
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
6 bacon slices
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped green or red bell pepper or both

To add flavor, place the shells of the shrimp in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer over low heat approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the broth, discarding shells. Add shrimp broth to hot stock, makes for an incredible stock.

** If using quick-cooking grits (not instant), reduce cream to 1/2 cup and reduce stock to 1 cup.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, water, and hot stock; bring to a gentle boil. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly (so that the grits do not settle to the bottom and scorch), until all are added reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (be carefully not to scorch mixture), or until the grits are tender. Grits should have absorbed all of the liquid and become soft and should have the same consistency as oatmeal (moist, not dry). If the grits become too thick, add warm stock or water to thin. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle shrimp with lemon juice, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until brown but not crisp. Remove from heat and pat dry with paper towels; set aside. Coarsely chop bacon when cool. Reserve 4 tablespoons bacon great in the frying pan. Add onion, garlic, and green or red bell pepper; sauté 10 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Add shrimp mixture and bacon; sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp are opaque in center (cut to test). Remove from heat. To serve, spoon hot grits onto individual serving plates and top with shrimp mixture, then sprinkle with green onion tops.

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