With Creamy Grits
4 main-course or
8 first-course servings
This traditional low-country dish from chef James Clark, executive chef at Palette in downtown Washington, belies Clark's Carolina upbringing. The exceptionally rich recipe has been a staple on the menu since shortly after Clark came to the restaurant last spring.
Depending on the desired consistency and richness of the grits, you may add more water and/or cream to taste; warm the additional liquid in a pan over medium heat before stirring it into the grits.
To accompany the smoky and creamy flavors of the dish, Clark suggests serving a sauvignon blanc; the wait staff at Palette recommends the Gascon Viognier 2003 from Mendoza, Argentina, or the Evolution Lucky #9 from Oregon.
For the grits:
4 cups water, plus additional as necessary
3 cups milk, half-and-half or heavy cream
2 cups grits (preferably Anson Mill; not instant)
4 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the shrimp:
6 tablespoons bacon drippings (from about 1/2 pound bacon)
3 medium onions, halved and sliced into thin wedges