photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 4 servings.

4 cups chicken broth
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup yellow stone-ground grits
½ cup half-and-half
¼ cup cooking sherry
1 cup sharp cheese, shredded
1 cup Gouda, shredded
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
6 green onions, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound medium fresh shrimp, peeled, tails left on
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, combine broth and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a rolling boil; stir in grits. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and grits are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in half-and-half, sherry, and cheese; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in eggs until smooth.

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, red bell pepper, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add grits mixture to onion mixture; stir to combine. Bake until set, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

In a nonstick skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, paprika, and nutmeg. Add shrimp to skillet; cook until pink and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon shrimp and 1 tablespoon melted butter over grits. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.

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