Creamy Polenta with Shrimps and Asparagus

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

A dish of buttery and cheesy polenta or grits. Homely yet elegant. Much more than the simple ingredients imply.

You can either use polenta or – if you are in the US – coarse yellow stone ground grits.

Ingredients:

US MeasuresMetric
  • 1 cup polenta or coarse yellow stone ground grits
  • 3-4 cups 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 grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb green asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1 1/2 inch 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 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
  • 160 g polenta or coarse yellow stone ground grits
  • 750 ml to 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
  • 115 g grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 450 g green asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 4 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
  • 8 g flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped

Preparation:

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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