Shrimp With Tasso Cream Over Stone-Ground Grits

4 cups water
2 cups half-and-half
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, split in half lengthwise and deveined
2 tablespoons minced shallots
5 ounces tasso ham, minced
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, bring water, half-and-half, butter and salt to a simmer. Slowly add grits while whisking. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, for 35 to 45 minutes. Shortly before grits are ready, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Add shrimp and saute until slightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallots and ham and saute for 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer until cream reduces by one third. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over creamy stone-ground grits