Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spicy Barbecue Shrimp; Cheddar Cheese Polenta
1 cup Polenta
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, sliced in thin strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1-2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, depending on how hot you like it (Emeril's Creole/Bayou
Blast seasoning or recipe to follow)
1 and 1/ 2 cups Barbecue Sauce (like Jack Daniels)
1 and 1/2 pounds of medium or large shrimp, cleaned
2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1. Cook Polenta according to package directions.
2. While the Polenta is cooking saute the onion, green pepper, and seasoning in oil in a large
saute pan on low heat until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
3. Turn heat up to medium-high and add barbecue sauce and shrimp. Cook until shrimp start to curl. Remove from heat.
4. When the Polenta is finished cooking add the butter and cheddar whisking until melted.
5. Serve the shrimp over a generous helping of Polenta.
Seasoning Mix
(adapted from Emeril)
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 and ½ teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne or 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Peperoncino
1 and ½ teaspoon oregano
1 and ½ teaspoon thyme
Mix well in a small bowl. Store in a covered container

Fried Polenta Sticks with Sage
5 cups water
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1 1/4 cups polenta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups all-purpose flour
Olive oil and safflower oil for deep-frying
Fresh herb sprigs for garnish
In a heavy saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil and add the 1 tsp salt. Slowly add the polenta in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Switch to a wooden spoon, reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer, stirring, until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the cheese, sage and butter and stir to mix well. Season with salt and pepper.Butter a 9-inch square pan. Pour the hot polenta into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.Using a sharp knife, cut the polenta into sticks 3 inches long by 1/2 inch wide. Toss them gently with the flour, dusting lightly.Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.Pour equal amounts of the olive and safflower oils into a large, deep fry pan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat on the stovetop on medium-high heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the polenta sticks a few at a time and fry, turning occasionally with a slotted spoon or tongs, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then keep warm in the oven until all are cooked.Arrange the polenta sticks on a warmed platter and season with salt. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve immediately.Makes about 50 polenta sticks; serves 8.Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

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