Shrimp Creole with Cheesy Grits
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery with green leafy tops, finely chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, intact
- 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
- 1 to 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot), divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup beer, 1/3 of a bottle
- 3 cups chicken stock, divided
- 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 cup chopped frozen okra, optional
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled, deveined medium to large shrimp, tails removed
- 1 recipe cheesy grits
- Cheesy Grits
- 2 tablespoons + extra for greasing dish, unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Frank's® hot sauce or Tabasco® sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons old-fashioned stone ground grits
- 1 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into extra-virgin olive oil, add garlic, onions, celery, bell peppers, thyme, bay leaf then season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies 7 to 8 minutes until tender, add in the Worcestershire, 1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce (medium to spicy heat level) and the flour and cook 1 minute more then add in beer and cook it off, another 30 seconds or so. Whisk in 1 cup of stock then add tomatoes and okra, if using, and bring to a bubble. Add shrimp and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until shrimp turn pink and firm then turn off heat. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf.
Prepare Cheesy Grits:
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middl position.
2. Heat oven to 350°.
3. Grease an 11x7-inch baking dish with butter, start with 1 teaspoon.
4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons butter until foaming subsides.
5. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
6. Add water, cream, hot sauce and salt.
7. Bring to a boil.
8. Whisk in grits and reduce heat to low.
9. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and creamy. About 15 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and stir in 1-1/2 cups cheese, egg and pepper to taste.
11. Pour mixture into greased baking dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
12. Bake for 30 minutes.
13. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and continue baking until top is browned, about 15 minutes.
14. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.