Shrimp With Cheese Grits
``When I first created the recipe and put it on the menu at Crook's Corner, most people responded with blank stares! Then Craig Claiborne sampled Shrimp and Grits at the restaurant and immediately asked me to prepare it for him in my home the next morning. He published a glowing account of the dish in the New York Times, and now it is the most popular entree at Crook's,'' writes Bill Neal in ``Good Old Grits Cookbook.''
1 lb. medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon
2 cups sliced fresh white mushrooms
1 cup sliced scallions (green onions)
1 large clove garlic, crushed through a garlic press
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 recipe Cheese Grits, hot (see below)
Rinse the shrimp and pat dry on paper towels. Set aside.
Dice the bacon and fry lightly in a large skillet until browned at the edges but not too crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside.
Add enough peanut oil to the fat in the skillet to make a thin layer. Heat over medium heat until the fat is quite hot. Add the shrimp and cook until they begin to turn pink. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the scallions and bacon, then add the garlic. Season with the lemon juice, Tabasco, parsley, salt, and pepper. Divide the cheese grits among four warm plates. Spoon the shrimp mixture over top and serve immediately. Serves 4.
1 cup stone-ground grits (or quick grits, if they're more available)
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch or more of cayenne
Small grating of fresh nutmeg
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, or more taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt to taste
Pour the grits into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Skim off the chaff as it floats to the surface. Stir the grits about and skim again until all the chaff has been removed. Drain the grits in a sieve.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the salt and slowly stir in the grits. Cook at a simmer, stirring frequently, until the grits are done (they should be quite thick and creamy), about 40 minutes for the stone-ground. (for quick grits, follow manufacturer's directions.)
Removed the grits from the heat and add rest of the ingredients. Stir until smooth. Serve immediately or hold over simmering water in a double boiler up to 30 minutes.