Shrimp & Grits for two

This is my adaptation of a Food Network Tyler Florence recipe.

1 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional see Scott’s Notes)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 links spicy sausage, cut in chunks
1 tablespoon Dry Roux or all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
3/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 green onion, white and green part, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme and/or 1 tsp. Cajun or Creole Spice (Scott’s addition)

To make the grits, place a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the cream and butter, season with salt and pepper.

To make the shrimp, place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaf, thyme & Cajun Spice. Simmer for a while, 45 minutes if you have the time, if not you may need to use a bit more dry roux or flour to thicken.

Once the sauce is thickened add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the most of parsley and green onion. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl. Add the shrimp mixture and optionally, mix well. (I don’t mix.) Top with remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

Scott’s Notes: This dish is easy and very good. I add a little Thyme to it for better flavor. I also used more stock and cooked it longer for more depth of flavor. You can easily omit the cream from the grits and it’s still tasty. Just thin the grits with water or more stock.

You could easily use boxed grits instead of the cornmeal. Just make according to directions, using stock instead of water.

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