Fat Tuesday

My sister is crazy good at everything.  Being my sister however, pretty much tops the list though.  Believe it or not, I can be challenging to put up with, (I know this comes as a shock to you) but she does it gracefully and effortlessly.  I tell her everything, she is always first at my side to offer advice, comfort me, or laugh just as hard as me at something only the two of us understand.  And although we couldn't be more different, I think that's what also keeps us so close. 
She has other talents in her repertoire, primarily, golf.  Not only is she the reigning club champion 9 years in a row  at our golf club, (with her own parking spot I might add) she was also skilled enough to receive a scholarship to attend post secondary in Louisiana.  Talk about an experience.  Living just outside the Big Easy, Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, and playing golf.  Can you say jealous?  All I did was go to school locally and play a few intramurals.  Do-over?
So in honour of the big party that is about to commence in her former home away from home.  We are having a creole inspired meal.  Mardi Gras in YYC. (Leaving the beads out of it, and keeping shirts on of course)
My sisters very good friend from the state of LA was sweet enough to give me some pointers on keeping it authentic Cajun style.  So from a true southerner I give you.....Shrimp & Grits (a figure friendlier version)

Shrimp and Grits

3 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup uncooked quick cooking grits
1/4 cup ham steak, sliced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
16-20 frozen shrimp, cooked, tail-on, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup half & half
3 Tbsp dry white wine
1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
green onion tops, chopped

In large skillet saute ham until crisp 5-7 minutes.  Add in onion and green pepper, cook till translucent.  Add in garlic cook for 1 minute.  Remove mixture from heat and transfer to bowl.
De-glaze pan with wine.   Reduce heat to low, add in hot sauce and half & half.  Allow to thicken.  Add in shrimp.  Heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add back in vegetable mixture.
Meanwhile in saucepan, boil water and salt.  Add in grits slowly, whisking constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes until thickened.  Add in pepper.  Remove from heat.
Divide grits among two bowls and top with shrimp and sauce mixture.  Sprinkle green onions on top.

Serves 2
Adapted from Paula Deen


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