Monday, September 12, 2011

Romesco Shrimp & Goat Cheese Polenta

Polenta was something that I had eaten a few times while out at fancy dinners, so I assumed it was difficult to make. It's one of those things that can be a major failure if you don't get the right consistency so I had always shied away from attempting it at home. The more I read about it, the more I got the courage to at least try making it once. The funny thing is that I couldn't have been more wrong. Polenta is actually very easy to make. Another plus is that it can take on so many different flavors, depending on how you prepare it.

I was inspired by a post that I saw from Cara's Cravings, pairing goat cheese polenta with shrimp in a romesco sauce. I made a few changes to her version but was still very happy with the results.

Shrimp in a Romesco Sauce with Goat Cheese Polenta
adapted from Cara's Cravings

Shrimp in Romesco Sauce:
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large red pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large tomato, cored and seeded
1 slice white bread, crust removed
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/3 cup chicken broth

Start by roasting the red pepper. I set my oven to 450 degrees and placed the pepper directly on the oven rack and roasted for 10-15 minutes. Once roasted, place in a bowl and allow to cool (I put mine in the fridge). Peel the skin from the pepper and remove the seeds and then chop into pieces. The alternative is to buy jarred roasted red peppers and skip this step entirely.

While the red pepper is roasting, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook the onions until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted pepper pieces, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are very soft and the onions are caramelized. Add the the tomato, bread, garlic and almonds, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant. Add the paprika, red pepper, parsley, vinegar, and chicken broth and simmer for a few more minutes, to blend flavors. Use immersion blender to combine ingredients into a chunky sauce. Add shrimp to sauce and simmer until cooked through.

Goat Cheese Polenta:
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 oz goat cheese

Heat chicken broth in medium saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and slowly whisk the cornmeal to the broth until smooth. Stir in goat cheese and season to taste with salt & pepper.

Divide polenta among serving plates and top with shrimp, romesco sauce and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

4 Servings


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