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Culinary SOS: Shrimp and grits is a plateful of heaven

By Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- Dear SOS: We ate at Bar/Kitchen on Flower Street in Los Angeles after a theater matinee. Plenty of great dishes, but the shrimp and grits was amazing -- shrimp laid on top of grits that must have been flavored with a shrimp stock and speckled with the addition of crispy bits of chorizo sausage. Could you please ask them for the recipe? -- Janet Wingert, Dana Point, Calif.

Dear Janet: It doesn't get much simpler than shrimp and grits, but Bar/Kitchen at the O Hotel takes this classic comfort food to new heights, with large Mexican shrimp cooked in a rich, creamy sauce spiced with minced Spanish Bilbao chorizo and a helping of sriracha hot sauce. Spooned atop cheesy stone-ground grits, it's heaven on a plate.

Bar/Kitchen's Shrimp and Grits

Serves 4 to 8. Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes. Adapted from Bar/Kitchen in Los Angeles. While this recipe calls for stone-ground grits, regular grits may be substituted, though they will not require as much cooking time or liquid; instant grits should not be substituted.

     2     tablespoons olive oil

     12   to 16 large Mexican white shrimp (less than 15 per-pound count)

     2     teaspoons minced garlic

     1/2  cup minced Spanish chorizo Bilbao

     1/4  cup chopped tomatoes

     4     teaspoons chopped white onions

     1/4  cup chopped cilantro

     1/2  cup fresh lemon juice

     3/4  cup white wine

     2     tablespoons sriracha sauce, or similar hot sauce, more if desired

     1/2     teaspoon Spanish paprika

     3/4     teaspoon salt, or to taste

     1/2     teaspoon pepper, or to taste

     2    cups heavy cream

     Prepared grits (recipe below)

     Chopped chives, for garnish

HEAT a large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté, searing the shrimp on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes (the shrimp will not be fully cooked yet). Remove the shrimp to a plate.

ADD the chorizo and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Cook until the onions just begin to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, white wine and sriracha, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the paprika and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.

STIR in the cream and simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add the shrimp back to the pan and increase the heat to high. Continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste; season if desired.

DIVIDE the grits among four bowls or plates and top with the shrimp. Pour over the sauce, and garnish with chopped chives.

Grits

     6    cups milk

     1    cup stone-ground grits

     3/4     teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

     1/2     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

     2    cups heavy cream

     1    cup grated Parmesan

BRING the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the grits to avoid any lumps. Stir in the salt and pepper.

REDUCE the heat and simmer the grits, stirring occasionally, until they start to thicken, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, a little at a time. Gently simmer, stirring frequently to keep the grits from scorching, until the grits are softened and thickened, about 30 to 45 additional minutes. Slowly stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired.

Nutrition information: Per each of 8 servings: 766 calories, 25 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 61 grams fat, 35 grams saturated fat, 289 milligrams cholesterol, 11 grams sugar, 960 milligrams sodium.


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