NEW YORK (WLNY) — James Briscione, an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, and his wife Brooke Parkhurst stopped by The Couch to show us how to make a Southern brunch favorite.


1 cup dry stone-ground grits, prepared (see below)

2 pounds (26/30 count or smaller) fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

cayenne or Creole Seasoning

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Prepare the grits (see below).

In a small bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne or 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning. Set aside if using immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours if preparing later.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the bell pepper, shallot, and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper; cook until the garlic and shallot are tender and lightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and reduce by three-quarters. Stir in the cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the seasoned shrimp and cook over medium-high heat until the shrimp are bright pink and the liquid is reduced by approximately one-quarter.

Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, tomatoes, and bacon. Serve with the grits.

Creamy Grits

9 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 cups stone-ground grits

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

freshly ground pepper to taste

Tabasco sauce to taste

Combine the water and salt in a medium pot and bring to a rapid boil. Add the grits in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Turn off the heat and allow the grits to settle. Some husk will rise to the top. Skim the small white flecks from the surface of the water using a fine-mesh skimmer or a spoon and discard.

Whisk the grits again, breaking up any clumps that may have formed on the bottom. Turn the heat back to high and stir constantly until the mixture returns to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. When finished, the grits should be well thickened and tender (though they will retain a good bit of texture). If the grits are extremely thick and still tough, add more water, ½ cup at a time, as they cook.

Add the butter and cheese and stir until melted. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. For creamy grits, serve immediately. To make grits cakes, cook a bit longer until very thick, spread evenly onto a greased baking sheet, and refrigerate until cooled completely. Cut into the desired shapes and gently remove with a spatula. Grits cakes can then be reheated in a cast-iron skillet, on a very hot grill, baked, or fried.

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