***Shrimp*** 1 1/2 pound (26-30 count size) shrimp 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 1 tablespoon paprika 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning freshly ground black pepper ***Grits*** 2 cups water 2 chicken bouillon cubes 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 cup quick grits 1 tablespoon tomato paste 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 3 1/2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese ***Sauce*** 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 tablespoon minced garlic 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup chicken stock 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce 1 slice sugar-cured country ham
Peel and devein shrimp. In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle spice mixture over shrimp to coat well; set the shrimp aside.
For Grits: In a medium sauce-pan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes and butter to a boil. Slowly add grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until grits become creamy.
For Sauce: In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice-coated shrimp, and cook only until they are just done and tender; don't overcook. Remove shrimp from saute pan and set them aside in a bowl.
To the drippings left from the shrimp in the saute pan, add the all-purpose flour and stir with a wooden spatula to make a roux. Cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes until roux reaches a medium-tan color, then slowly add chicken stock and heavy whipping cream. Whisk together and cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.
In separate saute pan, cook the ham until heated; cut into cubes.
To serve, place a few heaping spoonfuls of steaming cheese grits onto a plate, top with several sizzling shrimp. Drizzle roux sauce over top of the shrimp, and sprinkle on a few cubes of country ham.