Magical Shrimp and Gouda Grits

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Description: To a true Southerner nothing compares to warm, cheesy grits topped with succulent, sweet seafood, except maybe the addition of a magical, spicy bacon sauce.
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Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes (10 m prep, 35 m cook)
Ingredients:
(Ingredients and measurements subject to availability)
Shrimp:

  1. 8 slices of bacon
  2. 2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and brined
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil*
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  10. 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  11. 1 12-oz. bottle of beer*, room temperature
  12. 1/4 cup ketchup
  13. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  14. Salt and pepper to taste*

Grits:

  1. 1 cup stone-ground grits
  2. 1 cup Gouda cheese, grated

*Not provided:
Salt and Pepper
Beer
Olive Oil

Equipment:
Skillet
Sauté pan
Sauce pot
Cheese grater

Instructions
:

  1. Rinse shrimp in cold water and peel. Brine shrimp in salted water until ready to cook.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain. Add chopped onions to the bacon grease in the pan. Depending on the amount of grease left from the bacon, add up to 1 tablespoon of olive oil as needed to coat the onions. Sauté onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. The term “until translucent” is commonly used to describe onions sautéed in butter or oil. Raw onions are fairly opaque, but as they cook they slowly become almost transparent. When this happens, add spices (salt, pepper, pepper flakes, oregano, thyme) to the pan and stir to mix.
  3. Next, add the beer, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine. Coarsely chop the cooled bacon and add to the pan. Cook until the pan juices are thickened and syrupy.
  4. Drain shrimp and add to the pan, tossing gently to completely coat shrimp. Bring sauce back to a boil, then cover pan and remove from the heat letting the shrimp rest for about 3-5 minutes to allow shrimp to steam and fully cook.
  5. Meanwhile, cook grits according to package directions, stir in cheese and peppers until fully melted and incorporated. Serve immediately on a platter with a mound of cheese grits with the shrimp (and the magical sauce) in the center.
  6. And now the really magical part… watch as all the shrimp and grits disappear!

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