Grilled shrimp recipe with polenta

Grilled shrimp with polenta

This recipe was inspired by a dinner that we had at Tarpon Creek Bar and Grill  in Marathon, Florida: Wood grilled shrimp and grits. Grits are ground-corn porridges that are common in the Southern United States and traditionally eaten mainly for breakfast. It is interesting that grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges such as polenta.

Polenta is a typical Italian dish. Corn was cultivated in the Veneto area as early as 1530 and was gradually introduced to Nice. Polenta became quite popular in the arrière pays, in the back-country of Nice. It was simply eaten with a dusting of cheese or with a meat or tomato sauce spooned over it, or with a grilled quail or something similar on the side. So this grilled shrimp with polenta actually is not that far from the traditions in and around Nice.

For this recipe choose large fresh or frozen shrimp, crevettes, with their shells on to protect flavour and freshness. Nowadays it is difficult to find fresh shrimp even on the French Riviera, but luckily shrimp takes particularly well to freezing.  Even fresh-looking shrimp in our local supermarket has been previously frozen. Solidly frozen shrimp is best thawed in the fridge.

On the Riviera, shrimp is served with their shells on. I have noticed that most Americans are not comfortable with this, so you may wish to peel the shrimp at some point during the cooking process. At Tarpon Creek Bar and Grill the shrimp were served peeled, just the tips of the tails were left on.

2 servings

8- 10 large crevettes, shrimp with their shells, fresh or thawed
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
200 ml fresh or frozen green peas
2 tsp rapeseed oil
½ spring onion, finely sliced, for decoration
2 servings of polenta, according to the advice on the package

For the marinade:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl mix the marinade and stir in the shrimp until well coated with the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Gently sauté the shallot and garlic in rapeseed oil in a saucepan. Add the peas and gently warm. Cover and keep warm.
Cook the polenta according to the advice on the package. Stir in 1 tbsp olive oil, cover and keep warm.

Oil a grill pan and warm over a medium heat. Grill the shrimp until nicely reddish- browned on both sides. Divide the shrimp, polenta and peas on the plates. Decorate with spring onion and serve with lemon wedges.


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