This recipe is a mashup of traditional shrimp ‘n grits – mostly Creole with a nod to my Italian heritage. Polenta is more coarsley ground yellow corn vs. the finer ground white corn used for grits. Russ calls it a “heart attack waiting to happen,” because it is so rich.
I like to acheive creamy parmesan polenta using a slow cooker method. It saves all that stirring and it comes out perfect everytime. I typically get the polenta going about two hours before I start prep for cooking the shrimp.
After I have done the “mise en place” (everything in place – measured and prepped), the shrimp comes together very quickly. With the polenta ready by cooking in advance, the plating only takes a minute.
For the Polenta
1 Cup Polenta (I use Bob's Red Mill Organic)
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
3 Cups Chicken Stock, plus more if necessary
2 Cups Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Parmesan, finely grated
For the Shrimp
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 1/2 Pounds Raw Shrimp, peeled and pevined
2 Tablespoon Dry Sherry
3 Tablespoons Marsala Wine
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
3/4 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 teaspoons Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Whipping Cream
Creole Seasoning to taste (go easy - too much will make dish too salty)
2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, minced fine, divided
Option for serving
Parmesan cheese, grated
Red pepper flakes for additional heat
- Two hours before beginning to cook shrimp, place polenta, salt, stock and cream in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Stir the polenta at the two hour point. If it is too thick add a little more stock. Cook for another 30 – 60 minutes until thick and creamy. Add in Parmesan cheese and stir until incorporated.
- While polenta is cooking for the last 30-60 minutes, gather and prep all the ingredients for the Shrimp.
- In a saute pan or wok large enough to hold all the shrimp, melt butter.
- Add raw shrimp and garlic and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from pan with a slotted spoon to a platter or bowl.
- Add sherry and marsala to the pan with the butter and shrimp juices. Cook over medium heat to cook off alcohol.
- Add wine and cook for 2-3 additional minutes to cook off alcohol.
- Add the stock and the Worchestershire. Add Creole seasoning to taste.
- Add in cream slowly stirring constantly.`
- Add in 1/2 the parsley, and cook a couple of minutes.
- Return shrimp to sauce in pan and reheat for serving.
- Serve in shrimp and pan sauce over polenta. Garnish each serving with a bit of fresh parsley. Top with finely grated Parmesan if desired.