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Creamy shad roe with grits

Serves 4

GRITS

4 cups water
Salt, to taste
1 cup medium-grain yellow grits
4 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten to mix
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Quickly whisk in the grits.

2. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the butter, and let the grits cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the egg and cheese.

SHAD

2 pairs of shad roe (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 cup whole milk
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
Flour (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Gently rinse the roe and pat them dry. Using a pair of scissors, separate the two lobes by cutting along the membrane. Cut out any blood clots.

2. In a baking dish, set the shad pieces in one layer and pour the milk over them.

3. In a heavy skillet, render the bacon until it is crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

4. Add the butter to the bacon fat and turn the heat to medium-low.

5. In a large shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the roe with flour and lay it down into the hot fat. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the roe, and cook for another 2 minutes or until the roe is cooked through. If you are not sure if the roe is thoroughly cooked, slice into it. It should be firm, but still pink.

6. Set the roe on a cutting board. Slice it thickly. Spoon the hot grits into large shallow bowls. Top with the slices of roe. Crumble the bacon on top. Drizzle with some of the butter mixture from the skillet.

Jonathan Levitt

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