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Shrimp ’N’ Grits: Shrimp-Filled Blossoms With Cheese Grits And Tabasco Butter


Shrimp Mousse

14 ounces 21/25-size shrimp, peeled and deveined (reserving shells)

1 cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian tarragon

Tempura Batter

1 large egg, chilled

¾ cup ice water

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose or low-gluten flour, chilled


4 cups water

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch of salt

1 cup stone-ground grits

1 cup milk

1 pound grated Fontina cheese


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Reserved shrimp shells from above

1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste

½ cup dry white wine or sherry

3 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons Tabasco

4 tablespoons cold butter


Shrimp Mousse
  1. Place 8 ounces of the shrimp in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Add the cream a little at a time, pulsing with every addition. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse one more time. Remove with a rubber spatula and place in a bowl over ice.
  2. Spoon a tablespoon of mousse into each squash blossom. Freeze any remaining mousse for next time.
  3. Keep the blossoms cold until ready to fry.
  Tempura Batter
  1. Combine the egg and ice water in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour, whisking gently until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.
  2. Heat a pot of oil filled about halfway to 350 degrees. Working in small batches, lightly dredge the squash blossoms in the batter and using tongs fry in the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until lightly golden and cooked through, about 2−3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Allow oil to reheat between batches.
  1. Bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and bring back to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the grits for 35−40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk, cook until nice and soft, add the cheese, and season to taste. Cover for 10 minutes.
  2. Fold in the remaining shrimp right before serving.
  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and cook the shallots and garlic, stirring until a little soft. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce, stirring, until ¾ of the way down. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves and reduce by ½.
  2. Strain, place the broth back on the stove, and reduce by ½. Add the Tabasco and swirl in the butter.
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