Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

For the Grits:

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup old-fashioned grits (not instant or quick-cooking)

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese

For the Shrimp:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 links fully cooked andouille sausage (about 6 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)

2 stalks celery, chopped, plus 1/4 cup leaves

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Make the grits: Combine 4 cups water, the bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then gradually add the grits, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the heavy cream, butter and cheese. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm. If the grits seem too thick, thin with water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.
  2. Meanwhile, make the shrimp: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the scallion whites, chopped celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are almost cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Push the shrimp and vegetables to the edge of the skillet. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste to the center and cook, undisturbed, until sizzling, 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water, the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and stir everything together. Bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through and the sauce is slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Add the butter and swirl the pan until melted. Add the parsley, scallion greens and celery leaves and toss. Season with salt. Add more lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if needed. 
  4. Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls. Top with the shrimp mixture.