Sautéed shrimp over a cheddar and sage grit cake and topped with a pancetta cream shrimp sauce. Sounds like a real expensive dish in a fine restaurant and tastes like it too.
Method: Stove Top
Skill Level: Intermediate
1 1/2pounds26-30 count Shrimp peeled and deveined
1tablespoondried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2chicken bouillon cubesrecommended: Knorr
2tablespoonsbutter or margarine
1cupquick gritsrecommended: Quaker
3/4cupheavy whipping cream
3 1/2ouncesextra-sharp Cheddar
1/4poundpancettacut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4cupvodkaor red wine, or sherry
Freshly ground pepper
1Thinly sliced zucchini
Prepare the shrimp:
In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste.
Sprinkle the spice mixture over the shrimp to coat well and set the shrimp aside.
Make your grits:
In a medium saucepan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy. Don't skimp on the butter and the cream, folks.
Saute the shrimp:
In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice-coated shrimp, and cook only until they're just done and tender. Don't overcook. Remove the shrimp from the saute pan and set them aside in a bowl. You can taste 1 or 2, to see if they're okay.
Prepare the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden but not crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off the fat in the saucepan, reserving 2 tablespoons.
Carefully add the vodka to the saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, scraping up any browned bits, until reduced to a glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream, pancetta and the reserved 2 tablespoons of fat and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper; serve warm.
To serve, place a few heaping spoonfuls of steaming cheese grits onto a plate, top with several sizzling shrimp. Drizzle that wonderful cream sauce over top of the shrimp. Toss zucchini and lemon on dish. Enjoy.