"The sauce is spilling over with deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas flavor," writes Dean Fearing in The Texas Food Bible, with "a little heat, a little sweet, and a little spice. Piled on a mess o' grits, you've got one perfect meal."
Cowboy Shrimp on Grits
Slightly adapted from a recipe in Dean Fearing's The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes to New Classics, published by Grand Central Life & Style.
12 large Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeno chile
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock thickened with 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
fresh lime juice
2 cups grits
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
Season the shrimp with salt. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. When very hot but not smoking, add the seasoned shrimp and saute for minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, chile, and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, bacon, tomato, and chopped cilantro and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes, or just until the shrimp are cooked through.
Remove from the heat and season with lime juice and Tabasco. Taste and, if necessary, season with salt.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the grits into the center of each of four warm dinner plates. Place 3 shrimp on top of the grits on each plate. Spoon an equal portion of the shrimp cooking sauce over the top of the shrimp, and sprinkle each plate with a tablespoon of the cheese.