Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Casserole with Bacon

If your shrimp are large, cut them in half so that they’ll bake evenly in the casserole. 

½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

¼ teaspoon coarse or kosher salt

1 cup slow-cooking stone-ground grits

2½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

3 large eggs, beaten

¼ cup heavy cream

Tabasco sauce

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Diced grape tomatoes, to garnish

Chopped Italian parsley or chopped green onions, to garnish

Fry bacon in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels, crumble and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and slowly pour in the grits. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are done, about 40 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the cheese and stir until smooth. Add in ¾ of the crumbled bacon. Stir in the eggs, cream, and Tabasco sauce. Add the shrimp and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the grits into a 2-quart souffle dish and bake until they are set and lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes. Top with remaining crumbled bacon. Garnish with diced tomatoes and chopped Italian parsley or chopped green onions. Serve hot. Serves 6.