Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shrimp and Grits Party Appetizer Cups

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1 Cup half & half or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup yellow grits
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar, grated (plus additional for garnish)
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 Cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb cooked medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 small jar chopped pimento for garnish
  • Finely sliced scallion tops

1. Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble into small pieces. Reserve the bacon drippings.

2. Whisk together the water, half & half, salt, and grits in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Stir in the butter, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. While the grits are cooking, saute the onions in 1-2 teaspoons of the bacon drippings until well softened. When the grits are done, stir in half the cooked onions (reserve the remainder for garnish) and the grated cheese.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray five 12-cup mini-muffin pans with cooking spray and sprinkle with seeds. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with the grit mixture, then spread the grits up the sides to create an indent in the center. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly crusted on the outside.

5. While the grit cups are baking, saute the green peppers with the garlic in a little more bacon fat until just softened. Add the shrimp, lemon pepper, bacon, and remaining onions and cook until the shrimp are just heated through. Let sit at least 5 minutes so the bacon can absorb any liquid.

6. Separate the shrimp from the bacon/green pepper mixture. Divide the bacon/pepper mix among the grit cups and top each with a shrimp. Sprinkle cups with a little grated cheese, add some chopped pimentos, and top with a sprinkling of scallion tops.

Makes 60 appetizers.

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