Creamy Cheddar Cheese Grits

4 Tbsp. butter       
5 cups milk
2 tsp. salt              
½ tsp. hot sauce
1 garlic clove, pressed     
1 ½ cups uncooked stone-ground white grits
1 (10 oz.) block sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Bring 2 Tbsp. butter, next 4 ingredients, and 5 cups water to a boil in a medium size Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 ½ hours or until thickened. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter until melted. Serve immediately.

Quick-Cooking Creamy Cheddar Cheese Grits: Substitute 2 cups uncooked quickcooking grits for stone-ground grits. Decrease water and milk to 4 ½ cups each. Prepare recipe as directed, cooking grits 10-15 minutes or until thickened.

Shrimp and Sausage

1 ½ lb. unpeeled, medium-sized raw NC shrimp (31/40 count)                    
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour                            
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup chopped green bell pepper               
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 lb. andouille or smoked sausage, cut into ¼-inch thick slices                   
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth             
½ tsp. salt                                                 
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper      
1/3-cup heavy cream                                
1//4 cup chopped green onions

Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is a light caramel color (about 6 minutes). Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender.

Add sausage, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, salt, and pepper, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in shrimp, cream and green onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve over Creamy Cheddar Cheese Grits.

Recipe courtesy of the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services