Yield: 10 to 12 servings

3 cups water
3½ cups half-and-half
2 cups quick-cooking grits
1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
8 slices bacon
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup sliced green onion
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 pounds medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
¾ teaspoon Creole seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups water and half-and-half to a boil over medium-high heat. Add grits, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cheese, egg, salt, and red pepper. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.

3. Bake until set, approximately 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat. Crumble bacon, and set aside.

5. In the same skillet, heat bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook for 3 minutes. Add flour; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and cream; stir until combined. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Creole seasoning, stirring to combine. Spoon mixture over grits. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.