Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spicy Shrimp with Creamy Polenta

What's the old saying? "April showers bring May flowers". Today is April 11 and we had more than showers here in sunny CA. It rained like Noah was building his ark all night long and into the day. I expect masses of flowers next month from last night's rain alone!

When the weather is like that, all I want to make is some sort of cozy, warm food.   Are you like that too?  I had everything I needed for this recipe except chicken broth for the polenta. I used water and a bit of milk and frankly my dear, I like the way it turned out better than with chicken broth.

I neglected to take step by step pictures this time (sorry about that!), but this is EASY! 

Here's how to do it:


For the polenta:

4 C water
1 C milk
1 C polenta
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 TBL creme fraiche
1/2 C heavy cream or half & half
3/4 C Parmesan cheese

For the shrimp:

2 TBL olive oil
2 large shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 C water
1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp hot sauce
finely chopped parsley for garnish

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and milk just to a boil for the polenta. With a whisk, add the polenta, a little at a time, whisking thoroughly each time.  Season with the salt and pepper and turn the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, whisking OFTEN! ( I like to keep a lid on the pan to hold in the moisture).

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cooking til soft but not browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, plus the 1/4 C water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.

3. When the polenta has cooked for 20 minutes, add the creme fraiche, cream and Parmesan cheese, stirring between each addition. Stir it some more.  Keep stirring.

4. Add the shrimp to the tomato mixture and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes or until shrimp have just turned pink. Don't overcook or you will have rubbery shrimp.  Add the hot sauce and serve over the polenta. Garnish with parsley.


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