Red-Eye Shrimp and Grits

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Raine

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Red-Eye Shrimp and Grits

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz country ham or other smoked ham, chopped
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp dried minced thyme
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup sherry
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 lb peeled and deveined med shrimp
Cooked grits or cheese grits

Sauté ham in olive oil in a lg saucepan over med high heat until golden. Add mushrooms, seasoning salt and thyme and Sauté until mushrooms are golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add green onions and garlic and Sauté 3 min. more.

Combine coffee, sherry, cornstarch and hot sauce in a sm bowl. Add to the
Sauté pan and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and simmer until cooked, about 2 minutes.

Spoon grits onto dinner plates, then divide the red-eye shrimp over the
grits.Makes 4 servings.

You can start with diced country ham sauteed in olive oil. You can find
sliced country ham in vacuum-sealed plastic packs in most meat departments.
Look for packs that include two thin slices, or small, thin slices labeled
as" biscuit sliced."

The shrimp and grits get an earthy flavor from fresh, sliced mushrooms. Some supermarkets offer cleaned, sliced mushrooms, which eliminates several preparation steps for busy cooks. If you can't find them, purchase an 8-ounce pkg of mushrooms, wipe them clean with a dampened paper towel and slice them with a knife or a hard-boiled egg slicer (this is a real time saver).
You can add a cup of spicy V8 juice or Bloody Mary mix to the red-eye
gravy for added sauciness and flavor. If you have some on hand, by all means give it a try.

For added flavor, try cooking the grits for this dish in reduced-sodium
chicken broth (substitute for the amount of water called for on the pkg of
grits). Your grits can be enhanced further by stirring in whipping cream at
the end of the cooking time.

This can be made ahead, and heated just before serving. Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly. Stir to distribute the cheese just before
serving.
 
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