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Shrimp and Cheese Grits
In this version of a Southern brunch favorite, grits are prepared up to a day ahead of time and heated while you cook the easy sauce with shrimp, smoked sausage and diced tomatoes. Shredded cheese and mayonnaise make the grits extra creamy, so they don’t dry out in the oven.
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup stone-ground yellow or white grits (not instant)
- ½ cup Blue Plate® Mayonnaise
- 4 ounces shredded cheese, about 1 ½ cups, mixed or one type, such as ¾ cup Gruyere and ¾ cup sharp cheddar
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided use
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
- ¼ teaspoon Creole seasoning
- ½ cup finely diced andouille or other smoked sausage
- ½ cup finely diced sweet onion
- ¼ cup finely diced celery
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes (15-ounce can), with juice
Make Cheese Grits
- Bring 4 cups water and salt to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir in grits. Turn heat to low. Cook, stirring often, 20 minutes or for the time indicated on package, until grits are tender.
- STIR in mayonnaise, cheese(s) and a generous amount of pepper. Mix well. Coat a 1 ½-quart baking dish with nonstick spray and turn the grits into the dish. Cover and refrigerate up to one day. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving time.
- PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. While shrimp is being prepared, heat covered grits 20 to 30 minutes, until warmed through. Before serving, uncover and stir well.
- In a 12-inch skillet (or in two batches in a 10-inch skillet) heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Mix shrimp with Creole seasoning. When butter is melted, add shrimp. Cook until the shrimp start to turn pink on one side, 1-2 minutes, then flip each one and cook just until shrimp are opaque, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not overcook. With a slotted spoon, remove shrimp from pan and reserve in a bowl.
- LOWER heat to medium. To drippings in skillet, add sausage, onion, celery and thyme. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- ADD remaining 1 tablespoon butter and tomatoes. Cook another 5 minutes, until mixture starts to reduce. Add lemon juice, shrimp and any juices shrimp may have given off. Cook another 5 minutes, until shrimp are warmed through completely.
- SERVE while hot with the grits. Refrigerate leftovers. Keeps up to two days.