2 poblano peppers
1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
6 cups grits, cooked to package directions
Fresh bread crumbs for breading cakes
2 red bell peppers, diced very finely
1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus oil for frying cakes
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 cups Karo, light corn syrup
2 to 4 anchovy fillets, to taste
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 teaspoon harissa or Chinese red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 large lemon, juiced
1 cup homemade mayonnaise (commercial can be substituted, but use reduced sugar type to avoid too much sweetness)
12 U-12 shrimp (jumbo, the bigger the better)
3 tablespoons sliced scallion tops
For the Grit Cakes: Roast one poblano pepper over open flame on gas stove until completely charred, then cool and dice. Add pepper and cheese to grits. Stir to incorporate and spread in pan approximately 2- to 3-inches thick. Let sit and refrigerate until it is cold. Remove from refrigerator and cut with biscuit cutter to create cakes. Bread the cakes in flour, egg wash and bread crumbs. Keep in refrigerator until you are ready to cook the dish.
For the Pepper Jelly: Saute diced red peppers and remaining 1 poblano in 1 tablespoon peanut oil for 1 minute. Deglaze with Grand Marnier and add Karo syrup. Cook at moderate heat approximately 20 minutes, liquid should reduce by 2/3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
For the Rouille: Combine anchovies, capers, pepper sauce, garlic and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise and refrigerate.
For plating: Deep fry the cakes. Place pepper jelly on the bottom of the plate. Grill shrimp only until firm and pink. Do not overcook. Briefly place fried cake on grill to score and flavor, being careful not to burn breading. Place cake on pepper jelly and top with 2 shrimp per person. Drizzle rouille on top and sprinkle with scallions.
Options: Top the cake with a teaspoon of salmon caviar, which will add texture and richness.
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