Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits (quick grits version)

For the Traditional Grits version click here.

Cooking With Rania - "Southern Cooking"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 8/08/2012

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For the Quick Grits:
8 cups water
3 cups quick cooking grits
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter
1 - 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Shrimp Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-3/4 pounds andouille sausage, cut into approximately 28 ½-inch-thick slices
1 cup cubed country ham (cut into ¼-inch dice)
1-1/4 pounds large (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup finely chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes
¼ cup finely sliced scallions
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 teaspoons Cajun-style fish blackening seasoning
1 cup salt-free chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To prepare the grits, bring the water to a boil over high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the grits, stir, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk or flat-tipped wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring, until thickened for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and the heavy cream, stirring to incorporate. Heat through and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, about 20 minutes before serving, prepare the shrimp sauce. Heat the oil over high heat in a large deep sauté pan. When hot and sizzling, add the sausage and country ham. Saute, tossing, until the sausage and ham begin to turn golden and caramelize, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the shrimp, tomato, scallions, minced garlic, and Cajun-style fish blackening seasoning. Saute for another 3 minutes, being sure to combine well and coat the ingredients evening with the seasoning. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the butter and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the grits into shallow bowls and top with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

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