This recipe is from Chris Hastings, the executive chef at the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Ala.
1 stick butter, cut into tablespoons
2 tbsp minced shallots (about 2 medium)
½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup finely diced carrots
¼ cup finely diced celery
¼ cup finely diced onion
16 to 20
16 to 20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup seeded and finely diced plum tomatoes (about 2 medium)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
2 rounded tbsp julienned, thinly sliced country ham
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Melt two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add shallots and thyme and saute until softened, about 1 min. Add carrot, celery, and onion and continue to saute until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and continue to saute until the shrimp are cooked halfway, about 2 min. Add cider vinegar to skillet and simmer for 1 min. Add tomatoes and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 min. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the lemon juice and remaining 6 tbsp of butter. Add parsley, then salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through. Spoon a mound of grits on each plate, and top with the shrimp and sauce. Garnish each plate with 1 rounded tbsp of country ham and 1/2 tbsp of fresh, chopped chives. Serve immediately.