Redeye gravy is normally served over creamy grits as a main dish, and it normally has lots of butter. But we were having an herbed butter with our main dish, so I didn’t want to overload on butter. Yes, that’s possible. Instead of sauteing ham in butter, as some recipes suggest, I went for bacon, with its built-in fatty goodness. Hey, I know how to make Greg happy. (This was our starter on Valentine’s Day.) To serve this as a main dish, make the grits as directed, but don’t chill and form into cakes.
- 1 cup grits (not instant)
- 3 cups shrimp broth (chicken will work too)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 grated Romano or Parmesan
Line a baking sheet or pie pan with parchment paper and set aside. Bring broth to a boil and stir in grits. Lower heat and cover, cooking until broth is absorbed and grits are tender, about 12 minutes. Stir cheese and butter into grits; season with salt and black pepper. Be sparing with the salt, since the cheese is salty. Pour grits onto prepared dish and smooth into an even layer. Cover and refrigerate until very firm, a few hours or overnight. Use a biscuit or round cookie cutter to cut out cakes, about 8-10; cover and refrigerate. Or just cut them in squares to avoid leaving any scraps. If you do have scraps, put them in the fridge and eat them for breakfast the next day.
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded, diced
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme or parsley
- 1 cup shrimp broth (chicken will do in a pinch)
- 1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 1/4 cup Madeira or sherry
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 pound medium uncooked shrimp (about 16 to 20 count per pound)
- 1/2 tbsp butter or olive oil
Saute bacon until crisp, in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in the pan, and set aside. Once cool chop or crumble both pieces. Return the pan to heat and add onion to the the drippings. Saute until tender, about two to three minutes. Add mushrooms, green and hot pepper and saute until tender, about three minutes. Add broth, coffee, tomatoes and hot sauce; bring to boil. Mix Madeira or sherry and cornstarch in small bowl. Add to sauce and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about three minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper and additional hot sauce if desired. Stir in half the chopped bacon and half the parsley. Can be made a day ahead. Melt butter or heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute. While pink on the outside but opaque in center, add gravy and heat through until shrimp are fully cooked, about 3 minutes.
To assemble: Heat grit cakes in an oven set to 300 until warmed throughout, about 10 minutes. Place one or two grit cakes on each plate and top with shrimp mix, crumbled bacon and fresh parsley. Drizzle gravy around the side.