Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brian's Shrimp and crispy polenta in cream sauce- You'll thank me later.

Brian and I love to cook together. It’s one of our favorite things to do. Sometimes I’m the executive chef and he is my sous chef and vice versa. This recipe is all Brian. And I think it is my favorite thing we’ve made so far. 

We do try to cook healthy and have made more things out of our Weight Watcher’s cook books than any other. Having said that, this is not a WW recipe. Brian was inspired by a Shrimp and Grits recipe from “Uglesich’s Restaurant Cookbook” ( Uglesich’s was  an amazing restaurant in New Orleans). I say inspired because Brian is not a grits fan (gasp!). So instead of grits we used polenta. 

I cannot say enough how much we enjoyed this dish. The first time we made it, it was just the two of us. It was so good I felt like I needed to go grab some people off the street and let them try it. It was too good not to share. I snapped out of that overly generous mood and just had a second helping. The second time we made it, we shared it with our friends Toby and Andrea. Again, it was amazing. But it was also then that I realized that Brian had been seriously holding back on the seasoning so as not to offend my Midwestern palate (awww. He’s so sweet.) But the second time, I was out numbered 3-1 by South Louisiana natives. It was spicier.  It didn’t help that it was accompanied by green beans that were also spicy. I drank water and adjusted. It was still so good!

So, here it is Brian’s shrimp and crispy polenta. Enjoy! And when you make it- invite me over!

Brian’s Shrimp and Crispy Polenta in cream sauce (serves 4)

1 tube of polenta (usually found in the produce or dairy section of your grocery store)
1 T. of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning (we use this a lot. You can find it in most grocery stores).
1T. of Worcestershire sauce
Ground black pepper
1 pint of heavy cream
1 lb of medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
Canola Oil
2 eggs
Fine plain bread crumbs (Brian adds a little seasoning- salt, pepper, Tony Chachere’s)
1  Green onion, diced

Pour oil in to a frying pan- you’ll need about ½ inch of oil in the pan. Place over medium high heat. 

Crack eggs into a bowl and beat until scrambled. Pour bread crumbs into 9x9 pan. Slice the polenta into 12- ¼ inch slices. Dip in the eggs and then lightly coat them in the bread crumbs. 

Place coated polenta into the frying pan and cook until golden brown. When done, remove the polenta and let them drain on a cookie rack or paper towel.  At this point, I put the crispy polenta in a toaster oven or 200 degree oven to keep them nice and toasty. 

In a cast iron skillet slowly bring the heavy cream, Tony’s, Worcestershire Sauce, and Black Pepper to a nice medium high heat (you do not want a boil as this will scald the cream and affect the flavor!).  Add your shrimp and cook until done (done is a figurative term when cooking Seafood…you don’t want rubber, then again, no one likes a raw shrimp, except for my cats).  Once the shrimp are done, reduce to a low simmer.  

Place the crispy polenta on a plate and cover with the sauce and shrimp. Sprinkle green onion on top.  Serve with a salad and/or green beans (or veggie of your choosing.)
Sit down and enjoy a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home!

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