Shrimp and Grits
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1½ tsp. plus 1½ tsp, kosher salt, divided (plus more to taste)
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal (polenta)
¼ tsp. plus ¼ tsp. pepper, divided (plus more to taste)
⅛ tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 lb. large shrimp, de-veined and de-shelled
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 squeeze of lemon (roughly 1 tsp)
2 green onions, finely sliced (optional)
Heat the milk, water and 1½ tsp. salt in a deep, medium sized pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the milk from burning the bottom of the pan.
Once boiling, slowly add the cornmeal, stirring or whisking constantly to avoid causing clumps. Once all the cornmeal is mixed in, decrease the heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the grits are creamy, stirring frequently.
While the grits are cooking, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauce or saute pan. Once hot, add the shallots and cook 1-2 minutes or until the shallots begin to sweat. Add the shrimp to the pan along with ¼ tsp. kosher salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Stir to coat the shrimp. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until the shrimp begins to turn opaque (whitish).
Tend to the grits for a quick sec.
Remove the grits from heat and add the pepper, garlic powder and butter. Once mixed through, slowly add the cheese, stirring to incorporate. Cover and keep the grits warm so they do not harden as you will want to serve them as soon as the shrimp has been cooked.
To finish the shrimp, add the balsamic vinegar, squeeze of lemon and remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Stir to incorporate and remove from heat.
To serve, place a healthy serving of the creamy, cheesy grits into a bowl and top with your desired amount of shrimp (I use about 5-6 per serving). Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.