My wife and I were discussing how much she likes grits for breakfast and I asked her if she ever has had polenta. She said no, so I suggested that I make her some for dinner. Dinner? As she looked at me funny, I said I bet you will like it, it would be my take on Southern shrimp and grits. So this is what I did.
Start out with good polenta. Make it to the directions on the package substituting one cup of water for one cup of heavy cream, add one stick of butter. Stir together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour off about half of the mixture into a buttered shallow pan if you have one. We are going to save that for another day. We will use this over the weekend for breakfast. Let it cool completely then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Back to dinner now.
Take the shrimp you are having for dinner and marinate them in some olive oil, and whatever spices you like to make them spicy say some crushed red peppers, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.
With the rest of the polenta in the pot add about 2 cups of cheddar cheese and mix in until its smooth, if necessary loosen the mixture a little with some more heavy cream. You are looking for a consistency of very thick applesauce. Put the bowl off to the side over very low heat and cook the shrimp.
Heat a non stick pan to medium high, add the shrimp, and cook a few minutes a side just until done. Scoop some of the hot cheesy polenta into a bowl and top with the spicy shrimp. Serve with a nice cool glass of your favorite white wine. As for my wife she now likes polenta just as much as grits.
A few days ago it was my good friend Jay’s 50th Birthday, knowing him and his love of shrimp I wanted to do something special for his surprise party. So I made bacon wrapped shrimp and he loved it.
First take 10 inch wooden skewers and soak them in cold water for about an hour.
You will need 16 – 20 peeled and deveined shrimp from your favorite fish monger. The term 16-20 means that there are 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. The lower the number means the bigger the shrimp. So 5 pounds of those shrimp would yield close to 100 pieces.
Take your favorite bacon out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you do the following step.
Carefully remove the tails from all the shrimp and skewer 2 of them onto one stick leaving about ½ inch of the point exposed above the shrimp. Once they are all on the sticks lightly sprinkle some black pepper over the shrimp.
Take a piece of bacon, poke it with the sharp tip to make a tiny hole and then slip it on the handle side of the skewer and pull up to the bottom of the shrimp. Then methodically wrap the bacon up the skewer around the shrimp making sure to cover as much of the shrimp as you go. Now the reason you left the tip of the skewer exposed is to take that last bit of bacon you are holding on to and stretch it over the tip to hold it in place.
Turn on the oven to 500F and place a few on a sheet pan so they are all on a single layer and cook 7-9 minutes on the first side then flip over for about 4-5 more on the other side. The bacon will be brown and a little crispy and the shrimp will be deliciously moist and juicy.
Serve right away warning your guests that the skewers will be hot.
To take it one step further, for the people who like spicy food, make a quick sauce consisting of equal parts Sriracha Sauce and Maple Syrup to dip the skewers into. The syrup compliments the bacon and pepper and the Sriracha adds spice to the sweet shrimp.
My goodness they are good ~ Enjoy!