Shrimp 'n grits (for Max Tessier, film critic and gourmand)

Start with two and a half to three cups chicken broth, bring to a boil; stir in grits (stone-ground, not store-bought), and let simmer (stirring often) for twenty minutes.

In the meantime, saute a small onion, chopped, and a pound of Italian sausage (I prefer spicy, but use mild if you like), chopped, in two tablespoons olive oil until well browned.  Add a tablespoon of flour, stir until it forms a roue, then add a cupful of chicken broth.

By this time grits should be ready. Pour in half a cup of heavy cream, top with a couple of grinds of fresh pepper, set aside.

When the sauteed sausage and sauce is bubbling, toss in  a pound of shrimp--tiger shrimp would do very nicely--stir until shrimp turns pink. Toss in a whole green onion, chopped thin, and two tablespoons chopped parsley. Pour over grits, and serve. Should feed four.

Some nice variations: I took the shrimp shells, and boiled them in the broth I used to make the grits; that made them tres flavorful. Also, I've used cilantro instead of parsley, and sometimes even basil, which adds an intriguing scent that goes well with the shrimp.

Grits is mainly ground corn; it doesn't taste like much, so the addition of fried sausage and shrimp, chicken broth and onions bulbous and green, does make for a flavorful meal.  Stone-ground is much preferred, incidentally, for retaining their nutritive value (the nutrition in store-bought is washed out by lye), and for having the sweet flavor of corn .

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