Shrimp and Gouda Grits

I have to apologize for the laundry list of ingredients my recipes sometimes have.  I try to keep it simple, but building flavor on top of flavor is so important to me!  I tried to think of things that I could remove from this recipe to calm down a bit on the ingredient list length, but I truly think you need it all.  The celery, carrot, and onion trio is necessary for a ton of recipes, adding sweetness and texture.  The heavy cream adds a richness, and the white wine strikes a balance for the two.  As far as the bacon and scallions... well, that's a no-brainer. ;-)

What You'll Need:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound 16/20 shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails-on
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin

1.  In a large skillet, melt butter and saute celery, carrot, peppers, onions, and garlic until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Deglaze the pan with white wine, and whisk in tomato paste until dissolved, reducing liquid by half, until consistency thickens.  Add Cajun seasoning and heavy cream and whisk until combined.  Add shrimp to sauce and cook until pink - careful not to overcook - about 3-5 minutes.

3.  Cook grits according to package directions.  Whisk in Gouda cheese, salt, and pepper until combined.  Separate into 4 bowls.  Spoon shrimp sauce over grits, about 4-5 shrimp per bowl.  Top with crumbled bacon and thinly sliced scallions as garnish.  ENJOY!


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