Shrimp & Grits with Tasso Ham Cream Sauce!

This is a traditional Georgia Shrimp and Grits recipe, and why would you have it any other way? If you are visiting and have never tried this dish, please do so! I know you will fall in love with this tasty Georgia treat! If you are a resident of the area, I am sure you have heard of alternative ways to Shrimp and Grits!

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. uncooked large shrimp, peeled & de-veined with tails off
8 oz. Tasso ham or Andouille, cut into cubes
1 cup julienne red bell pepper
1 cup julienne green bell pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
Pinch of saffron, optional
1/2 & 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 3/4 cup water
1 cup stone ground white or yellow grits
Cheddar cheese, optional

Method of Preperation:
Melt butter in a large skillet. Cook shrimp for 1 minute. Remove and reserve. Add ham, bell peppers and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cream, parsley, thyme and shrimp with juices. Simmer until shrimp are pink and sauce thickens to coat a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Make grits according to package or bring 2 3/4 cup water to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits, reduce heat and simmer until grits are tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/3 cup cream and 1 Tbsp. butter; season with salt and pepper, add cheddar cheese if desired. Spoon grits into bowl and top with shrimp/ham sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Yield: 4 servings.

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