Dear Janet: It doesn't get much simpler than shrimp and grits, but Bar / Kitchen at the O Hotel takes this classic comfort food to new heights, with large Mexican shrimp cooked in a rich creamy sauce spiced with minced Spanish Bilbao chorizo and a helping of Sriracha hot sauce. Spooned atop cheesy stone-ground grits, it's heaven on a plate.
Bar / Kitchen's shrimp and grits
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 8
Note: Adapted from Bar / Kitchen in Los Angeles. While this recipe calls for stone-ground grits, regular grits may be substituted, though they will not require as much cooking time or liquid; instant grits should not be substituted.
6 cups milk
1 cup stone-ground grits
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan
1. In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits to avoid any lumps. Stir in the salt and pepper.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer the grits, stirring occasionally, until they start to thicken, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, a little at a time. Gently simmer, stirring frequently to keep the grits from scorching, until the grits are softened and thickened, about 30 to 45 additional minutes. Slowly stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired.
Shrimp and grits
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 to 16 large Mexican white shrimp (less than 15-per-pound count)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup minced Spanish chorizo Bilbao
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
4 teaspoons chopped white onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, or similar hot sauce, more if desired
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 cups heavy cream
Chopped chives, for garnish
1. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté, searing the shrimp on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes (the shrimp will not be fully cooked yet). Remove the shrimp to a plate.
2. Add the chorizo and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Cook until the onions just begin to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, white wine and Sriracha, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the paprika and season with three-fourths teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
3. Stir in the cream and simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add the shrimp back to the pan and increase the heat to high. Continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste, and season if desired.
4. Divide the grits among four bowls or plates and top with the shrimp. Pour over the sauce, and garnish with chopped chives.
Each of 8 servings: 766 calories; 25 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 61 grams fat; 35 grams saturated fat; 289 mg cholesterol; 11 grams sugar; 960 mg sodium.