Shrimp with country ham, oven-dried tomatoes, and sexy scallion grits

Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

Grits:

  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 4 cup water or broth (chicken, vegetable, shrimp, or a combination)
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (Crowley or other farmhouse cheddar)
  • 3 tablespoon scallions, chopped

Shrimp:

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 12 peeled and deveined 10-15 count shrimp (head-off)
  • 1/4 cup country ham, cut in small dice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic broth (made from 1 roasted garlic cloves poached with white wine, chicken stock and herbs)
  • 3 clove roasted garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 12 slices oven-dried tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • Salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

Method

For grits:

In a two-quart saucepan, bring milk or cream and 3 cups of the water or broth to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in grits. Bring back to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat again to a simmer. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, add more water or broth as needed to maintain a creamy consistency. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until grits are tender and not crunchy. Add butter, salt, pepper, cheese, and scallions. Keep warm while preparing shrimp, stirring to prevent lumps.

For shrimp:

Heat butter or olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the oil. Add ham and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in wine and roasted garlic broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the roasted garlic cloves, thyme, and butter. Stir in the tomatoes, the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve immediately over hot grits.

Wine pairing:

A fuller sparkling wine like the Domaine Chandon Reserve Brut.

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