Shrimp & Grits

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped celery<
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ pound andouille or other smoked sausage, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup peeled, seeded, and chopped vine-ripened tomato
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups quick-cooking white grits
  • ½ pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions or scallions ( green part only)
  • ¼ pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the grits. Stir for 2 minutes, then add the shrimp. Cook, stirring, until the grits are tender and creamy, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the green onions, then add the cheese and stir until it is completely melted, about 1 minute.

Serve hot right from the pot.

Makes enough for 4 main-course servings.