1. Serves 12. Cook the Crispy Fried Onions: Thinly slice onions using a mandolin. Soak onions in milk for one hour. Mix flour with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Dredge onions in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Deep fry at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
2. Make the Grits: Pour water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and corn grits. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until grits are al dente. Cover and let stand for up to 2 hours.
3. Assemble one order of Shrimp and Grits: Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Saute 4 ounces shrimp with 1 clove minced garlic for one minute, or until shrimp starts to turn pink. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons white wine, and 1 teaspoon tomato paste. Continue to saute until shrimp are cooked through. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and ½ teaspoon lemon zest.
4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in ¾ cup cooked grits and ¼ cup whipping cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until grits are heated through and tender. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup shredded cheddar and 1 tablespoon grated parmesan.
5. Spoon grits into a shallow bowl. Top with saucy shrimp. Garnish with ⅓ cup crispy fried onions.