Another shrimpy evening

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It was one of those weeks. Late nights at work (and many more to come for the next three months — my boss starts her maternity leave Monday) had me getting home too late to even consider cooking. But I hit the wall yesterday and decided to take off on time! Oh, what luxury!

In need of serious comfort food after such a grueling week, but not wanting to spend too much time in thought, I turned to my old standby — shrimp and grits. I never make it the same way twice, which hasn’t always been such a great idea, but this time it really hit the spot.

To about 3/4 lb. of peeled jumbo shrimp, I added some hot pimenton, a clove of chopped garlic, thyme, and oregano, then started on the grits. I like to use old fashioned, but if you don’t care that much or have no experience with grits at all, quick-cooking is probably fine. I set them to simmer in a mixture of 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water with a touch of salt and a bay leaf thrown in.

While the grits were cooking, I got the sauce ready. In about a teaspoon of avocado oil, I sauteed thinly sliced garlic and one slice of chopped bacon until the bacon had rendered and the garlic was golden. To that, I added a splash of white wine, a small can of whole tomatoes which I broke up with the back of the spoon, about a tablespoon of chopped sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, then seasoned with crushed red pepper and more pimenton, thyme, and oregano. Once the mixture thickened, I added the shrimp to cook for a few minutes, then stirred in some heavy cream at the end of the cooking time to mellow out the flavors a bit.

Now the grits were ready, so I removed the bay leaf and added about 1/4 cup of heavy cream and maybe 1/2 cup of shredded asiago cheese. I served the shrimp over grits in bowls and topped the whole thing with slivers of green onions, then sat down to a home-cooked dinner with my husband. A perfect end to an imperfect week.

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