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Monday, November 7, 2011

Crook's Corner Shrimp and Grits

Crook's Corner is a locally owned restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC and I've been eating their shrimp and grits ever since I've been able to chew. This is their signature dish and deservingly so- its rich and creamy and salty and lemony with a little kick. It makes me proud to be a southerner.

I've been craving it recently, and since I now live 5 hours away from Crook's I can't get it whenever the craving hits. I found their recipe online and ohhhh myyyy goodness. It was the best dinner I've made in as long as I can remember. It tasted just like the real deal and only took 20 minutes start to finish. This just went into the recipe vault where it will stay in regular rotation forever. If you like food, you need to make this. Tonight.

2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking grits
1 cup grated cheddar
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Tobasco
1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 slices bacon
1 lb. medium shrimp, deveined and peeled
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Tobasco

To make the grits: Add the water, chicken broth, half-and-half, and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Whisk in the grits and reduce heat to low/simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add the cheeses, butter, Tobasco, and pepper and stir. Keep warm.

To make the shrimp: In a large pan cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, crumble and set aside. Keep 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings in the pan and add the sliced mushrooms, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour- add them and the garlic to the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until shrimps are lightly browned. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and tobasco and cook another 2 minutes until sauce has thickened.

Stir the grits before serving. Once ready, pour the grits in the bottom of individual bowls and place even amounts of shrimp on top. Serve with a slice of lemon to squeeze on top. Serves 4.

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