4 cups water
4 cups quick cooking grits
4 cups Bacon Dashi (recipe below)
¼ cup light soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 pound best quality smoky bacon cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
8-12 poached or sunny-side up eggs (I like to use fried eggs and fry them in the bacon fat)
1 cup chopped scallions (both green and white parts)
1. Combine the water and grits and soak overnight (or at least 8 hours) in the cooking pot. Drain grits and return to pot
2. Add bacon dashi and simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly.
3. After 5 minutes, turn heat to low and add the soy, salt, pepper. Continue to cook, stirring a lot if not constantly, for 10 minutes.
4. Add butter and stir till combined. Adjust salt and pepper. Set aside, covered to keep warm.
5. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in large heavy skillet until crisp and browned. Drain bacon on paper towels. Discard fat or use to fry the eggs. Do not wash the pan.
6. Toss shrimp in a mixing bowl with the oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
7. Cook shrimp in bacon pan in batches if necessary: Heat pan to hot over medium-high heat. Sear shrimp on first side, pressing down until golden, 1-2 minutes. Flip and sear other side until shrimp almost–but not quite–cooked. They’ll continue to cook a bit out of the pan.
8. Dish can be plated or served on a platter:
To plate: Give everyone a helping of grits, nestle an egg in it. Arrange piles of shrimp, bacon, and scallions. Serve at once.
To serve on a platter: Spread the hot grits on a large platter. Top with the eggs, nestling them in when possible. Sprinkle the bacon and the scallions over the top and place the shrimp in a serving bowl alongside..
To Make Bacon Dashi
Makes approximately 4 cups bacon dash
Two 3 by 6 inch pieces konbu, rinsed well in cool water
8 cups water
½ pound best quality smoky bacon
1. Combine konbu and water in a medium saucepan
2. Bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
3. Remove Konbu from pot and add bacon. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes
4. Strain bacon out of broth and chill broth till fat comes to surface. Remove and discard fat. Discard . Will keep in refrigerator for up to a week. Or freeze.