2½ cups plus ¾ cup chicken stock, divided
18 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 cup grits, preferably stone ground
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
cup green bell pepper, cut into small cubes
cup onion, cut into small cubes
½ cup celery, cut into small cubes
8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
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1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine 2½ cups chicken stock and half and half. Add butter, salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in the kernels and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 40 to 50 minutes until tender, stirring frequently. Scrape the bottom of the pan while stirring to prevent the grains from sticking. Grits are done when bubbles grow large, such as volcanic magma or hot mud puddles, or when they have the texture of wet mashed potatoes. Remove from fire. Add cheese and stir until well blended. Cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, brown the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon cubes with a spoon and reserve, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Add green bell pepper, onion, and celery to pan and cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Combine celery salt, paprika, cayenne, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle over shrimp; toss until evenly coated. Add shrimp and vegetable oil to the pan and cook until shrimp are almost pink and curled. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ¾ cup of chicken stock and cook, stirring, until the liquid thickens.
4. To serve, spoon shrimp and sauce over grits, and top with reserved crispy bacon.
Per portion: 774 calories; 42 g fat; 24 g saturated fat; 290 g cholesterol; 44 g protein; 55 g carbohydrates; 11 g of sugar; 3g fiber; 1355 mg sodium; 433mg calcium