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Shrimp & Grits

Shrimp and Grits, along with Frogmort Stew, is the epitomy of Carolina Low Country cooking - despite the fact is seems to be a fairly recent invention. This is a wonderful meal any time of the year. Serves 4.

Ingredients
1 lb medium shrimp — peeled
3 tbsp butter
4 slices smoked bacon
2/3 c chopped onions
1/4 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped green bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh
1 bay leaf
1/3 c white wine or vermouth
3 tbsp flour
2 c clam juice (shrimp stock is better if you have it)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 c heavy cream
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Make the grits.

In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat and cook shrimp for about 2 minutes per side. Set aside, the shrimp should be slightly under-cooked.

In a large sauté pan cook the bacon until crisp over medium heat. Drain bacon but reserve grease in pan. Add onions, celery, and pepper and sau té until softened. Add garlic, thyme, and bay and cook 1 minute more. Increase heat to high, add white wine, and cook until evaporated. Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle with flour, mix thoroughly and cook, stirring frequently with a spatula for 3 minutes and scraping the bottom to prevent burning. Add clam juice and tomato paste and whisk vigorously to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer and stir in cream. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add shrimp and cook another 2 minutes. Serve spooned over grits.

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