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This pimento shrimp + grits recipe from "Iron Chef" champion Justin Sutherland (you may also know him from "Top Chef" or truTV's "Fast Foodies") is a favorite at his restaurant, Handsome Hog in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Click here to watch Rach surprise Justin in honor of his work with his non-profit, The North Stands—which supports unemployed hospitality workers + struggling businesses—and Inner City Ducks, which provides children with after-school sports, activities + mentorship.
- 2 cups coarse-ground grits
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ⅛ cup diced green pepper
- ⅛ cup diced celery
- ⅛ cup diced sweet onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup chopped canned tomato
- 2 cups shellfish or seafood stock
- ½ pound rock shrimp , peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ⅛ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup diced canned pimento peppers
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Dash of hot sauce (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced scallion
Cover grits with water, bring to a low boil then simmer until water is almost absorbed. Add milk and cook until creamy, stirring, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil and cook the green pepper, celery, onion, and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter until melted, then stir in flour to make a light roux. Stir in tomato and shellfish stock and once combined, add shrimp and spices. Lightly poach shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes.
Once grits are cooked and creamy, stir in cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and sour cream until melted, then fold in pimentos and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Season shrimp with lemon juice, hot sauce (if using), salt and pepper.
Spoon grits into a shallow bowl, top with shrimp and sauce, and garnish with scallions.