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adapted from Chef John Currence of City Grocery, Oxford, MS
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper finely chopped
- 3 cups sliced white mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Salt
- scallions thinly sliced for garnish
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco (optional)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 lemon juiced
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter cut into tbsp. and softened
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits
- Toss the shrimp with the lemon juice and hot pepper sauce in a bowl. Set aside.
- Bring the milk, water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the grits in a steady stream.
- Reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until grits are thick and creamy, stirring frequently.
- Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the cheese and several dashes of hot pepper sauce and stir to combine. Cover and keep warm.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet until brown and crisp. Stir in the onion, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the scallions and the flour. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken stock and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the grits into 4 bowls. Spoon the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with scallions.
This dish is a popular find on menus in South Carolina and Mississippi. No self-respecting Southern chef would use instant grits. We recommend you not use them either.