Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tasso Grits Batons with Scotch Bonnet Shrimp

Tasso Grits Batons with Scotch Bonnet Shrimp
by Dawn Harmon

1/2 cup instant grits
2 cups water
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
Flour for dredging
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
Panko for breading grits
oil for frying
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 jalapeno, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 tomatillo, husk removed and coarsely chopped
1 handful cherry tomatoes, quartered (I like Trader Joe’s myself!)
2 Tablespoons Scotch Bonnet or any pepper jelly
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
olive oil

For the grits:
 1.  Bring the water to a boil. Add the grits and whisk, reducing the heat to medium.  Whisk the grits often until all the water is absorbed, about 5-7 minutes. 
2. Add the butter, tasso, and green onion to the grits, mix thoroughly, and spread into a 9x9 baking dish.  Place in the fridge to cool and firm for 8 hours.
3.  When the grits are firm to the touch, cut into 2-inch squares. (NOTE:  an offset spatula is great for lifting the squares out of the pan!) Dredge each square in flour.
4.  Heat oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is ready, dip each square into the egg mixture and then into the panko.  Drop into the hot oil and fry until golden, approximately 5 minutes, flipping batons over halfway through.  Remove the batons from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry.

For the shrimp:
 1.  Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.  Saute the shrimp until pink and firm.
2.  Add 1 tablespoon of the jelly, reduce the heat to medium, and stir to coat the shrimp.  When heated, the jelly will glaze the shrimp.  Remove the shrimp from the pan (so the jelly doesn't burn) and set aside in a dish.
3.  In the pan you used for the shrimp, cook the jalapeno, tomatillo, and tomatoes over medium heat.  Add the remaining jelly and chicken stock.  Cook until the sauce reduces by half.  Add the shrimp back to the pan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To plate:  
Stack 2 or 3 batons in the center of a plate.  Place shrimp mixture around the base of the batons, and ladle sauce over the shrimp and veggies.  Enjoy!

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