Oven Roasted Tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1 pound thick-slab bacon, cut in to lardoons (1/4 inch cubes)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground dried thyme
4 ounces bacon fat or if you don't have you can use butter
2 cups milk
2 cups stone-ground yellow grits
1 1/2 cups grated aged white Cheddar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parnesan
Hot water to thin grits, if necessary
Salt & Pepper to taste
Braised Mustard Greens
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 Pound Mustard Greens (or your favorite hearty green) Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 Jumbo shrimp (15 and under) shelled and deveined, tail on for decoration
For the bacon confit: Blot the bacon with paper towels and place in a small bowl. Combine the cinnamon, cloves, pepper and thyme in a small bowl. Rub the bacon with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.
Melt the bacon fat or butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook slowly until golden brown and crisp on one side, about 10 minutes. Turn the bacon and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon until crisp, about 10 more minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl,. Reserve the bacon fat for the mustard greens.
For the roasted tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Mix together the oil, thyme and some salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with the oil mixture. Then sprinkle with the sugar. Bake the tomatoes until they are completely softened and start to wrinkle, 30 - 40 minutes.
For the cheese grits: Bring 6 cups of water and the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the grits and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly. Cook until mixture is thick and tender, about 30 minutes, adding more water, if needed. Grits should be soft and not seize up. Mix in the Cheddar and Pecorino-Romano until thoroughly incorporated. Season with some salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
For the braised greens: Heat the 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat (or butter) in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the greens, crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Toss just to coat with the fat.
For the shrimp: Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add 8 to 10 shrimp , sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until well-seared and crisp but just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
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