• 6 cups half and half
• 1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
For the shrimp:
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium white onion, minced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 pound mild Italian sausage, cut in chunks
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 2 to 3 bay leaves
• 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• Pinch cayenne pepper, adjust to personal preference
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper

For the grits:
• Place a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat.
• Add the half and half.
• Slowly whisk in the cornmeal.
• When the grits begin to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
• Allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick.
• Remove from heat and stir in the butter, thin it out with a little half and half.
• Season with salt and pepper.
For the shrimp:
• Place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil.
•  Add the onion and garlic; saute for 2 minutes to soften.
•  Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown.
• Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux.
•  Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps.
• Toss in the bay leaves.
• When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the shrimp.
• Poach the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick.
• Add the cayenne pepper.
•  Season with salt and pepper.
•  Spoon the grits into a serving bowl.
• Add the shrimp mixture and mix well.
• Serve immediately.

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