Creole Shrimp and Grits—bacon seared shrimp coated in a creole spiced sauce spooned over buttery gruyere cheese grits.
1 1/2lblarge shrimppeeled and deveined
4strips thick-cut baconcut in half
1/2cyellow onion diced
1/2cred pepper diced
1/2cgreen pepper diced
1celery ribfinely diced
1cwhite cooking wine or chicken stock
1/4tspred pepper flakesoptional
1plum tomatoseeded and diced
1-2scallions thinly sliced
2cchicken stockor water
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the Creole seasoning with the kosher salt. Season the shrimp with the ½ of salted creole seasoning and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon strips until crisp. Remove the bacon to drain and crumble; set aside.
Drain the bacon fat from the pan and reserve 2 tbsp. Add the 2 tbsp of back fat back to the skillet and sear the shrimp in an even layer on both sides until fully cooked; about 1 ½ minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook them in batches if necessary. Remove the cooked shrimp and set aside.
Drop the heat to low and add the butter and garlic. Allow the butter melt and the garlic to become fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium then follow with the onion, red and green peppers, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened; 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, remaining creole seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and add the white cooking wine. Bring it to a boil then return the shrimp to the pan with any juices in the resting dish. Stir well and finish with the juice of half a lemon.
Bring to boil 2 cups of chicken stock over medium heat. Stir in the grits. Allow them to thicken and cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes stirring consistently. Once prepared, add cheese, heavy cream, butter, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese melts and the grits are smooth.
Serve the shrimp and sauce over the cheesy grits topped with diced plum tomato, scallions, and crumbled bacon.