Fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, baked shrimp, shrimp surprise, and so on a so forth. Just like Bubba I’m a big shrimp guy and I like seafood in general so this one was a no-brainer. Shrimp and grits are a staple in the south, but can be heavy and kind of flavorless. I like replacing the grits with polenta and adding some extra spices to really round out the dish, while keeping it light as well. Don’t take my word for it though, just make it and see for yourself.
Shrimp & Grits is a staple for the south and it’s great for morning noon and night. This recipe kicks it up a notch and replaces the grits with creamy polenta. This cajun inspired recipe gives you a spicy flavored sauce on top of creamy soft polenta. By replacing bacon with pancetta you also don’t have to worry about the entire dish being overpowered. While most shrimp and grit recipes are heavy with this white wine butter sauce it still fills you up but is very light.
- In a bowl place the shrimp with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of black pepper, and 1 tbsp of kosher salt. Grate 4 cloves of garlic into the bowl and mix in the red pepper flakes, paprika, onion powder, and black pepper.
- In a small pot add boiling water and heavy cream together and bring to a boil. Add in 1 tbsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of black pepper.
- Chop pancetta and shallot into small dice and put aside.
- Add polenta into the pot and whisk on low heat until polenta is fully cooked.
- Take polenta off the heat and add 4 oz of butter and 2 oz of grated parmesan cheese and place the lid on top of the pot.
- In a skillet add 2 tbsp of olive oil and wait until it is heated up. Add in shrimp making sure to place shrimp directly on the hot pan, not crowding it. As the shrimp start to turn from opaque to pink flip over and cook on other side.
- Taking a spoon mix together polenta, and place some of the polenta in each bowl.
- Using tongs place shrimp on top of polenta.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in pan and the pancetta and shallot.
- Add white wine into pan to deglaze and turn heat off and add 4 oz of butter to pan. Pour over shrimp and polenta evenly and chop green onions to garnish the top.