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Cajun Barbecued Mexican Shrimp n' Grits with Tasso Gravy

Cajun Barbecued Mexican Shrimp n' Grits with Tasso Gravy

From: Chef Devin Levine, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, OK. Yield: 4 servings.

2 lb. Ocean Garden Authentic Mexican Shrimp
3 Tbsp. Cajun blackening seasoning
3 Tbsp. barbecue spice
1/2 cup pomace olive oil

3 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup Quaker Quick Grits
dash of salt
8 oz. smoked peppered bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan

1/2 cup butter
1 cup Tasso, sliced thin
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. barbecue spice
1/2 cup half & half
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Season shrimp with blackening spice and barbecue spice. Heat large skillet until very hot over high flame. Add oil and carefully add seasoned raw shrimp and toss quickly to blacken shrimp. When just done, remove to plate and set aside.

In same skillet, add butter and Tasso and saute for approximately 5 minutes over medium heat. Add flour and spice; stir to form a roux. Continue to cook until roux is lightly browned and nutty in aroma. Add chicken stock and cream, and stir until completely thickened. Adjust thickness as needed with a little more cream if necessary. When sauce is complete, add shrimp and parsley to sauce and hold warm until ready to serve.

For the grits: Saute onions and bacon in skillet until caramelized and deeply browned; add garlic last to prevent it from burning. Place chicken stock in sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil. Add grits and cook while stirring continuously until thickened. Remove from heat and add cooked bacon, onions and any pan juices. Stir in Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Adjust seasonings with salt and black pepper.

To assemble: Place a generous amount of grits in center of serving plate or bowl and top with creamy Cajun barbecued shrimp and Tasso gravy. Garnish with chopped scallions and a little extra Cheddarcheese.