Cheesy Shrimp & Polenta

(4 servings)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 

Shrimp and grits is an all-time southern classic.  Traditionally had as breakfast but can also be had as lunch or dinner. Though I like the combination of shrimp and grits, I prefer shrimp and polenta. The consistency of polenta with the cheesiness of the comte cheese that I have used in this recipe complement each other. Polenta is also slightly heavier than the grits making it a better entrée dish eaten at lunch or dinner. I also used shrimp with the shell on. This just imparts better flavor to the sauce. This also makes a great dish to make if you have kids (without the shells on for the shrimp of course). They will love the cheesy polenta with the tangy shrimp!!

Ingredients:

For the polenta:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 75 gm Comte cheese scraped
  • Salt to taste

For the shrimps:

  • 12 fresh raw shrimp (shell on)
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove chopped
  • 3 oz. chorizo chopped
  • 125 gm red bell pepper chopped (~half bell pepper medium size)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander chopped
  • 3 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Bring a medium size vessel with the 2 cups water, 2 cups broth & salt to boil. Reduce to a simmer and add polenta. Stir continuously for 5 -10 minutes until polenta has a thick consistency and is cooked. After around 5 minutes stir in the Comte cheese. I like to keep the consistence a medium thickness and switch off the heat after around 6 minutes. After the heat is switched off the polenta will continue to become thicker.

In a frying pan add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and fry the onion and garlic (about 304 minutes) or until the onion is golden brown. Add a little salt to allow the onion to sweat. Add the chorizo and sautee. The oil from the chorizo will impart taste and continue to cook the onion. This is the reason why I added very little oil at the start. Add the bell pepper and fry for about 2 minutes. Add in the smoked paprika, shrimp (I used shell on shrimp as it imparts more taste to the sauce but you can use cleaned deshelled shrimp as well) and lemon juice and fry until shrimp start turning pink. Add in the broth, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.

Serve polenta in a bowl topped with the shrimp & sauce and chopped cilantro.

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