The Best Shrimp and Grits

This southern staple is full of flavor and plenty saucy. We tried using bacon, but missed the spiciness and complexity of andouille sausage. For added richness, we cook the grits in milk and finish them with butter.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 cups milk

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon sugar 

1 cup old-fashioned grits 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1/4 cup olive oil 

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined (see Cook's Note) 

8 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half moons 

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped 

3/4 large onion, chopped 

1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1/2 cup dry white wine 

2 scallions, thinly sliced 

Directions

  1. Bring the milk, 2 cups water, 2 3/4 teaspoons salt and the sugar to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Vigorously whisk in the grits until the liquid comes back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, whisking occasionally and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent sticking, until the grits are tender and thick, 35 to 45 minutes. Whisk in the butter until melted. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil a large skillet over high heat until you see wisps of smoke rising from the pan. Cook half the shrimp until lightly browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of the oil and the remaining shrimp.  
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the andouille in an even layer. Cook undisturbed until browned on one side, about 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with the shrimp.  
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet and add the garlic, bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until brick-red colored, about 1 minute. Add the wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Cook until the sauce reduces and you can no longer smell any alcohol, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shrimp, andouille, any accumulated juices and 1/4 cup water and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and the shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Divide the warm grits among plates. Serve the shrimp and andouille over the grits. Garnish with the scallions.  

Cook’s Note

"16/20" refers to the number of shrimp that equals 1 pound. To save time, ask your fishmonger to peel and devein the shrimp for you. If you prefer cheesy grits, add 4 ounces of shredded Cheddar just before serving and stir until melted.