Fiery Shrimp and Creamy Grits with Bacon, Roasted Mushroom, Haricot Verts, and Green Onion

Serves 4
By Chef Lia

Ingredients for Fiery Tomato Sauce for Shrimp:

  • 1 medium white onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes in water, crushed by hand
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil. Sautee onions and garlic until translucent. Add spices and toast for a moment. Add canned tomatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are thick and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Let the mixture cool, and then transfer to a blender to puree. Add honey, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Prepare the shrimp for cooking later. **Fiery Tomato Sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance

Ingredients for the Vegetable Ragout:

  • 1/2 lb smoked bacon
  • 1 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 lb French cut baby green beans
  • 2 bunches scallions

Trim the green beans and cut them in half. Blanch them for about 30 seconds in boiling, salted water. Shock them to stop the cooking in ice water, drain, and reserve.

Cut the scallions into pieces the same length as the greens beans. Place them with the green beans.

Ingredients for the Creamy Grits:

  • 2 c water
  • 1 14 oz. can chicken broth
  • 3/4 c half-and-half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c regular grits
  • 3/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 dashes hot sauce

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese, butter and hot sauce. Incorporate completely. Keep warm.

To Complete the Dish:
Take a large, heavy-bottomed sautee pan and heat 2 tbsp cooking oil over high heat. Sear off the shrimp, cooking them on each side for about 3-4 minutes, depending on the size. Shrimp are cooked when they are no longer translucent. Remove from the pan.

Add the bacon to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Render the fat out of the bacon, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms. If the mushrooms soak up too much of the bacon drippings, add a bit of oil as needed to sautee them. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are caramelized. Then add the green beans and scallions to the pan. Sautee until the onions are wilted and the beans are hot. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

In a small separate pan, heat up about 1 cup of the fiery tomato sauce. Once it is hot, toss the shrimp in the sauce, coating them thoroughly.

To plate the dish, spoon the grits in the center of a dish. Arrange the shrimp fanned out around the grits. Spoon the vegetable ragout over the grits. Serve immediately.