Creamy "Grits" With Creole Shrimp

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

3 tablespoons butter, divided

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 ribs celery with green leafy tops, finely chopped

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, intact

1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

Salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it

1 to 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot), divided

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup beer, 1/3 of a bottle

3 cups chicken stock, divided

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped frozen okra, optional

1 1/2 pounds peeled, deveined medium to large shrimp, tails removed

1 cup whole milk

1 cup quick cooking (sometimes marked "instant") polenta

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