Bring 3 1/2 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Â Stir in cheese and jalapeÃ±o, then cream (optional). Season with salt (a good amount) and pepper. Keep warm
Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add andouille sausage and sautÃ© until fat begins to render, about 3-4 minutes (if using lean andouille chicken or turkey sausage, add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet). While sausage is cooking, toss shrimp with paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl. Â Add garlic, tomatoes and shrimp to the pan and sautÃ©. When garlic begins to turn golden, add white wine, reduce for 1 minute, then add chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp, tomatoes and sausage from skillet with a slotted spoon and continue to reduce the liquid until it thickens to a sauce consistency. Â Season to taste with salt and pepper. Â Swirl in 1 Tbsp cold butter to the sauce until completely melted and set aside.
Spoon grits into large shallow bowls or onto plates. Â Top with 4-5 shrimp standing upright. Â Lay out 5-6 tomato halves of varying colors over the grits. Crumble 1 Tbsp of cheese over the dish and garnish with finely chopped parsley and scallions. Drizzle a small spoonful of sauce over the dish and enjoy.
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The Date Dish