Friday, May 2, 2014

Shrimps over Creamy Polenta

Here is a recipe that you are going to love: ready in less than 15 minutes, and only requires few, healthy ingredients.  I normally like to make these shrimps over creamy polenta as an appetizer for a dinner party, followed by a seafood pasta or risotto. Or, you could also prepare it as a main dish for a casual dinner at home. Just follow the recipe, and double the amounts per serving!
If you don't know, polenta is a creamy mush made from cornmeal, boiled in water. It's typical of the northern part of Italy, in particular Veneto (where I'm from!) and Friuli. It can be eaten right after boiling it, when it's still deliciously creamy, or it can be left to cool down, then sliced and grilled. Because of its mild flavor, polenta is a great side dish to a large variety of foods: next to a plate of seafood stew, together with barbecued fish or meat, especially sausages and pork ribs, mixed with Asiago cheese and porcini mushrooms, or simply next to few slices of sopressa...Yum! I'm getting hungry now.
I always use instant polenta, which is ready in 5 minutes or less. The regular polenta flour will take over an hour to cook and requires constant stirring ... a little too much work. So, I'm happy to settle for the instant! Make sure to check the package when you buy polenta, and read carefully to see the cooking time. Also, follow the directions on the package for how much water and polenta flour you will need. I normally don't measure the amounts but I slowly pour the polenta flour while stirring, and checking for density. I did measure tonight for you: in 3 cups of water, I added about 1 cup of polenta flour.
Tonight, on top of the creamy polenta, I added salad shrimps, seasoned with Italian parsley, garlic (of course!) and extra virgin olive oil. You can buy them fresh or frozen. Either way, they are clean and ready to use.
And this is all you need to make this deliciously creamy appetizer!

Ingredients: Appetizer for 4 people
  • 12 oz cooked salad shrimps, fresh or frozen 
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of instant polenta flour
Preparation time: 15 minutes


Step 1: Boil a small pot of slightly salted water. Add the shrimps and let boil for no more than one minute. If the shrimps are frozen, make sure they are completely defrosted.

Step 2: In a small bowl, add the sliced garlic, the parsley and three tablespoons of olive oil. Mix in the shrimps. Let them marinate for as much time as you have, while you prepare the polenta.
Step 3: In a medium saucepan, boil 3 cups of salted water. Add one tablespoon of olive oil. When boiling, lower the flame to low and mix in the polenta flour stirring continuously. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
Step 4: Divide the polenta equally on four plates. Add one fourth of the shrimps in the middle of the polenta, with the oil and the parsley. I generally remove the garlic. Add extra olive oil if you'd like.

Buon Appetito!

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