In Need of Comfort, Once Again…

Hands down this has been a supremely crappy week. I know, I know, it was just EASTER. Celebrate! Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Spring! My ass… It’s cold, crappy and rainy here. It actually snowed on Monday. To top it all off, it’s monsoon season for bad news in my world. My husband’s aunt passed away, then my boss’ dad passed, and my mom is recovering from unexpected surgery. I’m riding the struggle bus. It got to the point that I just needed a break. NO more work, NO going to the gym. I had to find my happy place, which is in the kitchen. But what to make? It’s still cold here, I want something comforting. I’d JUST made kolaches last week so I had a half a pound of andouille sitting in the fridge. I also had a half pound (maybe a touch more) of chorizo in the fridge. I’ve had a hankering for shrimp and grits, my husband rarely gets excited for shrimp. What to do…

Shrimp & Grits w/out the Shrimp
Yields: 6 servings

Cheese Grits:
1 cup dry old fashioned grits (substitute polenta)
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 lb shredded melting cheese mix (Mexican Mix from Sargento)

Cream Sauce:
1/3 cup green hot sauce (Tobasco)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Meat Topping:
5-8 oz shitake mushrooms, sliced
8 oz andouille sausage, chopped
8 oz Italian chorizo, chopped
3 oz pancetta, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shallot, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

Cream Sauce:
In a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine green hot sauce, rice vinegar, lemom juice, and chopped shallot. Bring to a boil and reduce to 1/2 cup. Stir in a half cup of cream. Cover and set aside or refrigerate for later.

Bring water and chicken stock to a boil. SLOWLY stir in the grits. (If you do it too quickly, they boil over before you get a tablespoon in.) Turn heat to low, cover and stir occaisionally. Cook for about 15 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Once desired thickness is reached, incorporate cheese. Cover and set aside.

Meat Topping:
While the grits are cooking, heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed pan on med-hi. Add pancetta and saute until beginning to brown. Add shitakes and saute until moisture is released. Add sausage, both peppers, shallots and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender, ~8 minutes.

Heat cream sauce on low until warm. In a bowl, spoon in grits, top with meat mixture, drizzle with hot pepper cream sauce and serve.

Bon appetit!

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2 Responses to In Need of Comfort, Once Again…

  1. mum-in-law says:

    Cheer up luv. there are better days ahead. today it is extremely windy but warm and the sun is shining????

  2. mum-in-law says:

    Just to let you know that we bumped into Ann Marie Nelson night before last and she was raving about the Glam Gourmand and something about trench coats??? Not sure about that bit. Anyway thought you would get a kick out of knowing that your words of wisdom do not fall on deaf ears. Loveu. m.i.l.

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