A reader named Barbara asked for the shrimp and grits recipe from Restaurant Iris. Chef/owner Kelly English was happy to provide it, and made adjustments to make it simpler for the home cook.
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Shrimp and Grits
— Grits (you know, the kind your grandma makes)
20 Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
2 onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 bay leaves
1 head garlic
3/4 ounce thyme (one package), leaves and stems separated
— Creole seasoning (whichever you prefer)
½ stick unsalted butter
4 ounces andouille, skin removed and saved; diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
Shrimp stock: Toast the shells in the oven until very fragrant. Saute the onion, celery and carrot until the onion is translucent. Add tomato, cook until “clumpy.” Add head of garlic, toasted shells, thyme stems, bay leaves, and andouille skin. Cover with 2 quarts water; simmer 3 hours. Strain and reserve.
Season shrimp with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Heat a pan to medium-high, add in a pat of butter and add in the shrimp and andouille. After about two minutes, add in the green onion, minced garlic and thyme leaves; cook until fragrant. Add in the roasted bell pepper. Add in about 2 cups of shrimp stock. Cook and let it reduce down to about 1 cup (the shrimp will be done during this process, remove the shrimp when they are fully cooked). Add in the rest of the butter and stir so it becomes a gravy. Taste for seasoning.
Put a scoop of grits in a bowl, top with five shrimp, a nice little bit of that gravy, and enjoy!
Source: Kelly English, Restaurant Iris. (Adapted from the Restaurant Iris kitchen to cook at home.)