In a money saving effort of late, I’ve been combing through my pantry trying to use up weird things I’ve bought for this or that project. That’s how I found the freakin’ vat of polenta that’d I’d purchased for a dinner I’d over-planned awhile back. I figured, I’d better get cracking on using that up, so I invited a few friends over and made the quick and easy spicy shrimp over polenta. I ended up adding whatever cheese was in my fridge at the time, because let’s face it, on its own, polenta is kinda bland.
The results were pretty fantastic.
Spicy Shrimp Over Cheesy Polenta
For the Polenta:
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 c. polenta
- 3 T. olive oil
- Salt to taste
- All the shredded/grated cheese your heart desires
For the Shrimp:
- 2 small broccoli crowns
- 1/2 c. diced ham
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 3 T. tomato paste
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 pound shrimp
- 1/4 c. parsley
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp. lemon zest
- fresh black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Place broccoli on a baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast 20 minutes, turning once. Set aside.
- Make the polenta by boiling 5 cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Once boiling, slowly add the polenta into the pot. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently – about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and any cheeses you want to add. (I used cheddar and parmesan because that’s what I had).
- Set polenta aside by placing a piece of wax paper against the polenta to keep warm.
- In a large skillet, heat the other 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and crushed red pepper. Saute for a minute.
- Add the tomato paste and stir until darkened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine and water; simmer for about a minute.
- Add the shrimp and stir until just cooked through about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the broccoli and ham and saute until just heated through.
- Serve over polenta.
Pro tip: If your polenta is lump, run it through the food processor before serving.