Creamy Cheesy Corn Grits with Shrimp

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Use the basic grits recipe for all seasons and change the vegetable and cheese additions. Try adding a fried or scrambled egg.

 Serves 4

 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 cup stone ground yellow grits
1 cup whole milk
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels ( from 2 ears)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced tasso ham
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 leek, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the salt and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the grits in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring frequently 30 to 35 minutes until they are thick and the grains are tender. Stir in the milk and corn kernels and cook and stir 2 minutes more.

2. While the grits are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add the tasso, shrimp and leek and cook and stir until the shrimp are bright orange, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook and stir one minute more. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. When the grits are tender add the remaining butter and cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir to mix and melt cheese. Add a little more milk if they are too stiff, you want them to be creamy. Place on a platter or individual plates and top with shrimp -tasso mixture. Serve warm topped with additional cheese if desired.