Creamy Polenta with Shrimps and Asparagus Recipe

Creamy Polenta with Shrimps and Asparagus

A dish of buttery yellow stone ground grits with shrimps and asparagus. A homely Southerrn recipe yet elegant. Much more than the simple ingredients imply.

Use the traditional, coarse, yellow stone ground grits, which are available in most supermarkets here in the South. No instant grits please, remember “Cousin Vinny”. As a substitute you can use polenta.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup (160 g) polenta or coarse yellow stone ground grits
  • 3-4 cups (750 ml – 1 L) chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (one peeled and left whole, the other finely minced)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (115 g) grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb (450 g) green asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1 1/2 inch (3,8 cm) pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Tabasco hot sauce or to taste
  • 16-18 large shrimps, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 3-4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (8 g) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Stir in the polenta or grits and add the whole garlic. Taste for salt. Simmer over low heat, just a bubble here and there. Stir once in a while until it has thickened, about 20 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the cheese. Cover pot and keep it warm. If mixture becomes too thick add a bit more chicken stock. Consistency should be similar to porridge.

In the meantime, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus pieces, the minced garlic, and cook, stirring frequently until crispy about 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Reduce the heat to low and add the balsamic and the hot sauce. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste for salt and pepper and additional hot sauce.

Serve shrimp and asparagus over the polenta and sprinkle with scallions and parsley.

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