Shrimp and Polenta Grits


Ingredients List: 
1 cup Coarse Ground Cornmeal for the polenta - See previous post on making a basic polenta
4-5 cups of Braising Greens such as mustard greens (used here) chard, spinach, or bok choy
2-3 cloves of garlic
Red Pepper Flake
1 Zucchini
8 Asparagus stalks
6 Shrimp per person - I purchased deveined with the shell still on. Peeling was quick and easy this way. If using rather large shrimp I would reduce the number to 4 per person
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish
1 1/2 cups Vegetable broth - see post on making your own here. 
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
1 Lemon - for juice

Directions: 
Polenta
Prepare the polenta as described in previous post. Set aside (do not leave on heat source, it will stick and burn) and keep warm, stirring occasionally to keep it from getting too stiff. 

Roast Veggies
Heat oven to 375
Break the course ends off of the asparagus and put onto a baking sheet. They will naturally snap where they need to, no need for a knife here!
Thickly slice the zucchini into rounds and cut them in half. Thick is good here so the vegetable withstands the heat of the oven without getting to mushy. 
Add to baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper. 
Roast in oven for about 15 minutes. Lightly shaking pan every so often. 

Braising the Greens
Always use double the amount of greens that you think you need. 5 cups may not even be enough because these little leafy suckers will cook down immensely. 
Dice garlic cloves and add to a cold pan. 
Add 2 TBS olive oil then turn on the burner to a medium heat (the garlic will not burn as easily if it comes up to temperature with the oil - many times the oil gets too hot first and the garlic immediately scorches when added to the hot oil).
Once fragrant, 2-3 minutes, add all of the greens. Stir them around, coating with oil and cook for a few minutes. 
Add veggie broth and cover with a lid - braising for 15 minutes. 

Shrimp
When the greens are finishes, set aside in a bowl with all of the cooking liquid and use the same pan for the shrimp. If you keep a small amount of liquid from the greens in the pan you shouldn't have to add anything else to cook the shrimp. 
Toss peeled whole shrimp into pan on medium/high heat. It should only take 5-6 minutes to cook. I also like to squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the pan at this point and add a touch of salt. 

Assemble the dish
Scoop warm polenta into the dish first. 
Add a liberal amount of greens on top and use a ladle to pour the cooking liquid around the perimeter of the whole dish. This will add tons of flavor and soften the consistency of the polenta "grits". 
Add other vegetables and shrimp on top. 
Finish with parmesan cheese and red pepper flake on top. 


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