The big Easter meal will be served on Sunday, so this week, we'll offer some recipe ideas for making it special. This recipe, a Southern special occasion dish, comes from the cook book "The Deen Bros. Take It Easy" by chef Paula Deen's sons, Jamie Deen and Bobby Deen.
3 cups milk
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1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned grits
3 cups grated cheddar cheese (12 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups heavy cream
Two cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
To make the grits: Combine 4 cups of water, the milk, and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cover the saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Cover and keep warm over a low heat.
To make the shrimp: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture is dark and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the cream. Once the cream is fully incorporated, slowly whisk in the tomatoes and 2/3cup of water. Stir in the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just opaque, about 5 minutes.
Season the shrimp with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Serve the shrimp over the grits and garnish with the Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.