Italian Shrimp & Polenta with Chorizo

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Photo Credits: andrewzimmern.com

If you want to prepare something delicious and unique..this is it. This dish is so easy to make.

Try creamy polenta as a substitute for your usual starch of rice and potatoes.  It is cornmeal that has been boiled to a porridge-like consistency and can be eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled.  It is a versatile grain of Italian origin and its history as a food sustenance dates back to the Roman times.
If you don’t have cornmeal readily available in your area, I have provided a homemade recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup polenta (not the quick cooking kind)
  • 1/2 cup small diced Spanish chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8-12 fresh uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry with paper towels
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 cuo of arugula (substitute: any fresh green vegetables or lettuce)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To make the polenta, bring the water and milk to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and then turn off the heat.  Sift the polenta into the hot liquid, whisking all the while (this prevents lumps).  Turn the heat back to low and cook, whisking every so often, for 30 minutes, or until the polenta gets really thick (you may need to switch to a wooden spoon).
  2. Meanwhile, add the chorizo to a medium skillet (not non-stick) with the olive oil.  Slowly bring up the heat to low and render the fat.  You don’t want too much color or for the chorizo to get crisp.
  3. When the oil has turned orange and most of the fat has been rendered, push all the chorizo to the side and turn up the heat to medium high.  Add all the shrimp; they should sizzle.  You want the shrimp to get some color, so make sure the pan is hot enough.
  4. Once the shrimp have some color, add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Use a spoon to work up any brown bits and then add the tomatoes and the red peppers. Turn up the heat to reduce the sauce.
  5. Feel the shrimp; they should be relatively firm and should look opaque.  Add the parsley and arugula.  Taste for seasoning; you may not need any salt because the chorizo is salted.  Stir the butter and parmesan into the polenta and spoon the polenta onto serving dishes.  Top with shrimp and chorizo mixture and serve right away.

Enjoy!
Homemade Cornmeal (From Popcorn)
*must have grinder/food processor

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups unflavored ready to cook popcorn (bought from store)

METHOD

  1. Just put the popcorn into the grinder and grind up to desired consistency.
  2. Store in sealed jar or plastic (vacuum sealed).
  3. Enjoy with any recipe calling for cornmeal!

*yields to 2 1/2 cup cornmeal
Credits to:  From one of my favorite food bloggers, Adam Roberts of Amateur Gourmet