Weeknight Shrimp Pad Thai

Yeild: 4 Servings

This recipe is not a traditional Pad Thai, but is very simple and can be made with things that are usually on hand. Traditional Pad Thai uses rice noodles and tamarind paste, two items I rarely have on hand. I used Linguine in place of the rice noodles and lime juice for the tartness usually provided by the tamarind. This is meant to be a weeknight dinner made from pantry staples typically on hand.

I keep frozen raw shrimp in the freezer at all times. It quickly defrosts at room temperature, and can be quickly stir-fried or grilled for fast dinners. This recipe takes advantage of the convenience of frozen shrimp.

This meal is fresh, full of colorful foods, packed with vitamin C and is and easy one-dish week night meal. Leftovers reheat easily.

Ingredients

8 oz. Rice Noodles or Flat Pasta
3 Tbsp. Lime Juice
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Avocado Oil
1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb. Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined (if using frozen, thaw completely and pat dry)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated.
1 Tbsp. Minced Cilantro
1/2 Cup. Roasted Peanuts, chopped 

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, and tamari. Set aside.
  3. In a large non-stick saute pan or wok, heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and white part of scallions and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add sesame oil to the pan. Then add the shrimp and cook, continuously stirring, until shrimp is pink.
  5. Push the shrimp and vegetables to one side of the pan, and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs until they just set, and then mix in with the shrimp and vegetables.
  6. Add the cooked noodles and toss until everything is combined.
  7. Pour in the lime juice mixtures and toss until the noodles are coated with the sauce.
  8. Garnish with the green part of the scallions, roasted peanuts and cilantro before serving.

Notes:

  • Rice noodles are traditional. Suitable substitutions are linguine, fettucini or another flat pasta noodle.
  • Substitute almonds or cashews if you don’t have peanuts on hand or if there is a peanut allergy to consider.
  • Pork or chicken can be substituted for the shrimp, or used in addition to the shrimp. Slice thin and insure raw pork or chicken is fully cooked before adding shrimp and eggs.

Langostino Lobster Rolls with Spring Peas

These “lobster” rolls are made with Langostino tail meat. Langostino is not really a lobster, and costs significantly less. Its flavor and texture are very similar, and restaurants sometimes substitute Langostino to offer lobster-like dishes at a lower price. Some species of langostino look somewhat like a flattened lobster, while others resemble a prawn. What we call Langostino in the US is the meat of the squat lobster, which is neither a true lobster nor a prawn, but more closely related to porcelain and hermit crabs.

I love lobster rolls, having first enjoyed them on the East Coast when visiting family. Sweet lobster in a light lemony dressing on a soft roll with a side of slaw is about as New England as it gets. The recipe here uses langostino for cost savings, but can be made with regular lobster if that is your preference. If I want to splurge, I’ll make this with real, fresh lobster.

For a twist I added spring peas. They are purely optional and may offend a lobster roll purist, so leave them out if they are not your thing. I like their fresh sweet taste, and happened to have an abundance of them on hand. They bring additional texture and flavor, but if they are not available or desired, the recipe is delicious without them.

Ingredients

3  Cups cooked Langostino or Lobster meat
1/2 Cup Spring Peas, shelled (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, minced
1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
6 Sausage Rolls, Hot Dog Buns or other soft sandwich rolls, Split
2 - 4 Tablespoons of butter

Instructions

  1. Combine langostinos or lobster, peas, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, parsley, Old Bay, and cayenne if desired, in a mixing bowl.
  2. Taste the salad and adjust seasonings; adding salt and pepper if desired.
  3. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate salad; it will store well for several hours if needed before moving on to next step.
  4. Butter preferred rolls and toast, butter side down, on a preheated grill or in a skillet on the stove top, working in batches. Alternately, you could place in a toaster oven and toast with butter side up on a bagel setting. Toast until inside of bun is a golden brown.
  5. Fill each bun with about 1/2 cup of the langostino or lobster salad.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes

These sandwiches can be used as either a main course or an appetizer. Slicing the filled rolls into three pieces will make a nice appetizer sized serving.

I initially frowned on the use of hot dog buns when experimenting with this recipe, but they have the right balance of flavor and texture so they don’t overpower the delicate texture and flavor of the filling.

Use the freshest ingredients possible, this sandwich has well balanced flavors and fresh juice and herbs are the key.

Grilled Salmon with Nori Fume Furikake

Its still early summer here in the high desert, but BBQ season is in full swing. One of our favorite ways to prepare heart-healthy fish is on the grill.

Salmon packs a health punch with essential Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, B vitamins, potassium, selenium and protein! It is high in the anti-oxidant Astaxanthin, giving the fish it’s red pigment, which helps with inflammation, supports good (HDL) cholesterol, and reduces oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol.

In this recipe, the salmon bathes in a flavorful marinade before grilling. Then it is finished with the great Japanese dry seasoning blend – Nori Fume Furikake. Furikake is a dry seasoning blend comprised of sesame seeds and other seasonings. Nori is seaweed like the sheets of nori used to wrap rolls in Sushi restaurants. Furikake is typically served on rice, which would make a great side dish for this fish, but here I use it to finish the salmon just before removing from the grill to impart even more flavor.

Using a BBQ grill mat to protect the delicate fish from falling through the grill grates.

Ingredients

3 - 4 Salmon fillets, skin on
Marinade
1-2 Tablespoons Nori-Fume Furikake

Marinade
1/2 Cup Low-Sodium Tamari Sauce (or Lite Soy Sauce)
1/4 Cup Avocado or Peanut Oil 
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Ginger Root, freshly grated
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ponzu Sauce

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all marinade ingredients. Pour into a shallow baking dish that will hold salmon fillets in single layer. Place salmon in marinade, skin side up, letting the flesh rest directly in the marinade for a minimum of 20 minutes, or up to two hours.
  2. Prepare grill. If grilling directly on the grill grates, oil lightly, or to prevent sticking, you can oil a piece of aluminum foil and place on the grates to prevent the fillets from sticking and falling through. I like to use a silicone grill mat which is naturally non-stick.
  3. Preheat grill to 450 degrees.
  4. Collect Tongs, spatula, instant read thermometer and seasonings to be used at the grill. Fish cooks fast, so be prepared ahead so you don’t overcook the fish while you are dashing to get something last minute.
  5. When grill reaches temperature, place salmon on the grill, skin side down. Sprinkle the fillet with Nori-Fume Furikake to taste. Close the lid of the grill and grill for 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch of fillet thickness. A one-inch thick fillet will take about 8 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the fish achieves 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit before removing from grill. Grill to your desired doneness, I like mine a bit on the medium-rare side, but you can cook it all the way to well done if that is your preference.
  6. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. You can use Togarashi (pepper) seasoning in place of the Nori-Fume Furikake. Togarashi, like Furikake, is a dry seasoning blend with sesame seeds, dried citrus and other flavorings. It can be spicy, Shichimi or mild, Shishito, but is primarily a blend of capsicum.
  2. Salmon is an oily, rich fish that demands lighter accompaniments. Rice, steamed or grilled vegetables and wilted greens make nice side dishes with this salmon. Grilled or fresh fruits such as pineapple, mango and papaya are also good sides.

Mussels with Basque Chorizo

Yeild: 4 Servings

This is actually a quick meal, but tastes amazing. Served in big bowls with lots of the stock and a crusty sour dough for dipping, this can actually be whipped up on a weeknight. For this adventure, I substituted some clams for the mussels because I had them on hand. They have different cooking times and I don’t really recommend this as the best approach to this dish, but it is an option. They are complementary bivalve mollusks, but the clams take longer to cook and must be added 5-10 minutes before the mussels to insure they open.

The Basque Chorizo brings the flavors of sweet red pepper, paprika, and garlic to the game. We are lucky to live in an area that celebrates Basque tradition and these sausages are readily available at a Basque deli in the local area. If Basque Chorizo can’t be found, Spanish Chorizo can be substituted. Mexican Chorizo is made with entirely different spice blend and I have not tried it in this dish. If you are up for experimenting that direction, let me know how that works out.

Measurements in this recipe are a suggestion, and you can easily modify it to your tastes and the number of people you want to serve. We like a lot of soupy broth for soaking up the flavor and bread. You can reduce the liquid volume if you don’t want as much broth. If you don’t keep clam stock on hand, chicken stock can be substituted, it just doesn’t have that briny, ocean flavor. You can eliminate the wine and use all stock. This is up to you.

Ingredients

4 lbs Mussels, live or a mix of Mussels and Clams, cleaned and de-bearded
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 oz. Basque Chorizo,casing removed and diced
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
16 oz. tomatoes, diced (a pint of Cherry tomatoes works well)
8 Oz. Clam Stock (can substitute chicken stock)
8 oz. Dry White Wine
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons, Italian Parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Rinse and scrub mussels, removing any beard (fuzzy clingy stuff sticking out of the mussel shell). If any mussels are open, discard them – they are not alive. You can tap them to see if they will close, but it they don’t, throw them out.
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven or large lidded skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add diced Chorizo cook until it begins to brown.
  4. Stir in minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to soften.
  6. Stir in stock and white wine. Cook to reduce by 1/4 and release alcohol.
  7. Add mussels and cover with lid, steam for 10 minutes until the mussels open. If chosing to mix with clams, remember to cook clams first for at least 5-10 minutes until they start to open, and then add the mussels to insure clams cook completely.
  8. Discard any mussels (or clams) that do not open.
  9. To finish: Stir in butter and 1/2 the parsley. Divide into serving bowls and sprinkle with remaining parsley.
  10. Serve with toasted Italian or Sourdough bread.

Mushroom, Pancetta & Italian Sausage Stromboli

Stromboli is spiral of Italian goodness. Traditionally, it is made with pizza dough or bread dough. The dough is shaped into a rectangle for rolling with meats, vegetables and cheeses. Unlike pizza or calzone, sauce is not used when forming the Stromboli as it it brings too much moisture. Some people do choose to do this, but if so, it must be done with a light hand.

Departing from tradition, this Stromboli is made using puff pastry instead of bread or pizza dough which take time to rise. It is quick and easy to thaw, and makes an amazing flakey brown crust.

Sliced Stromboli with Marinara

Ingredients

8 oz Pancetta, chopped fine
6 oz. Sweet Italian Sausage
1 large Shallot
16 oz. White Mushrooms
4 oz. Oyster Mushrooms
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped fine
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Sheets Puff Pastry (1 box)
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Water

Instructions

  1. In a large deep dish skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, cook Italian Sausage until no longer pink and beginning to brown, crumbling the sausage as it cooks. Remove sausage from pan and place in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain. Wipe all residual fat that has rendered from the pan away with a paper towel (drain the pain if sausage is very fatty)
  2. Add Pancetta to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat renders, 10-12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking pancetta until it is crisp.
  3. While the Pancetta cooks, finely chop shallots with a knife or foood processor and place in a bowl. Do the same with the mushrooms, placing in a separate bowl once finely chopped.
  4. When the Pancetta is finished cooking, add the shallots to the pan with the pancetta and rendered fats. Cook until the shallots are tender about 5 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and begin to brown. It is important that the mushrooms are dry. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. While mushrooms cool, roll out the two puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface into 12″ X 10″ rectangles.
  7. Add Parmesan and Italian parsley to the cooled mushrooms. The residual heat from the cooking will melt the cheese and wilt the parsley. Taste before seasoning as the Italian Sausage and Pancetta and Parmesan carry salts and seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  8. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Divide mushroom mixture in half and spread half on each rolled pastry sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the long sides, and a 1-inch border on the top and bottom of the pastry sheet.
  10. Make an egg wash by beating the egg with the water in a small bowl.
  11. Using a pastry brush, place a strip of egg wash along the top border of each pastry sheet.
  12. Roll first pastry, starting at the short edge closest to you towards the top border with egg wash. Roll tightly and uniformly to make a log. Seal the roll using the moisture from the egg wash. Place seam side down on the pastry sheet. Repeat with second pastry.
  13. Brush each Stromboli roll with egg wash. Fold ends under sealing the filling inside.
  14. Bake Strombolifor 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  15. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice. Try the basic marinara sauce here.

Notes:

  1. It is very important that the filling is dry to prevent a soggy crust. Allow yourself at least an hour of cooking time and do not rush the process of cooking the mushrooms until dry.
  2. Keeping fats from the sausage and pancetta to be just enough to prevent sticking of the shallots and mushrooms during cooking will help keep the dish dry.
  3. Using a large skillet helps keep mushrooms in a thinner layer, increasing cooking surface and allowing liquids to evaporate.
  4. Use your favorite combination of mushrooms…just keep the weight to 20 oz. total mushrooms before cooking.
  5. A garlicky white sauce would be a good alternate for dipping.

Huevos Rancheros with Chipotle Black Bean Sauce

Happy Cinco de Mayo! We decided to skip the heavy Mexican food meal at the end of the day, and opt for Heuvos Rancheros for brunch this year. It is hearty and filling and will probably stay with us all day.

This dish is basically a layering of ingredients. The Fresh Red Salsa, Chipotle Salsa, and Chipotle Black Bean Sauce can be prepared a day in advance to save time. You could even fry the tortilla shells in advance as they will reheat well in the oven.

This recipe serves 4, but can be easily scaled up or down.

Ingredients

Base
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
8 Corn Tortillas
8 Eggs
15 oz. Can Refried Beans, divided
1 Cup Chipotle Black Bean Sauce, divided
1 Cup Shredded Cheese, divided (can use Monteray Jack, Cheddar or any combination you prefer)

Toppings
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Lime Quarters
Sour Cream
Diced Tomatoes
Avocado Slices
Chipotle Black Bean Sauce
Fresh Red Salsa
Chipotle Salsa

Instructions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and fry tortillas one at a time until firm, but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain grease.
  3. Meanwhile, place refried beans in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook in the microwave until heated through.
  4. When tortillas are fried and beans are heated, assemble the base by placing four tortillas on the baking sheet. Top with 1/4 of the refried beans, 1/4 cup Chipotle Black Bean Sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated cheese, or more if you like it really cheesy.
  5. Place remaining fried tortillas on serving plates.
  6. Bake base until cheese is melted, 2 to 5 minutes, keeping an eye out so you don’t overcook.
  7. While base is cooking , fry eggs over-easy in the skillet. Add butter if the tortillas have absorbed all the oil.
  8. Remove base from oven, place on top of tortilla on serving plate. Top with two fried eggs per plate.
  9. Add desired toppings and serve immediately with extra salsa and sauce on the side.

Kentucky Hot Brown

It’s Kentucky Derby Day! This year I decided to prepare the decadent Kentucky Hot Brown open-faced sandwich as a late lunch/early dinner while we enjoy the Churchill Downs race – the first in the great race for the Triple Crown each year. This year marks the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, and the first result upset in the history of the Race.

The Hot Brown actually has its own history. Still served today at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, the Hot Brown was invented in the 1920’s for the 1200 guests that frequented their nightly dancing at the hotel. The chef wanted something more glamorous to serve the tired dancers instead of just ham and eggs. The original recipe is shared by the Brown Hotel. The original recipe and history can be found at https://www.brownhotel.com/dining/hot-brown

I stick close to the original recipe, but make a few changes. Not a fan of Texas Toast, I changed the bread to Brioche. I also make a very traditional Mornay Sauce which is made with Gruyere vs. the Pecorino called for by the Brown Hotel. I omit the nutmeg as I have a food intolerance to it – even in small quantities. You, however, can add it back if you prefer its distinct flavor in this creamy cheese sauce.

Ingredients

For the Mornay Sauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
8 oz. Heavy Cream
8 oz. Whole Milk
2 oz. Gruyere Cheese, grated (plus more for garnishing)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg (optional, I omit)

For the Sandwich
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast, Sliced https://betwixtandcuisine.com/2019/05/04/herb-roasted-turkey-breast/
4 Slices of Brioche Toast (Crust Trimmed)
4 Slices of Crispy Bacon
2 Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
Paprika
Parsley

Instructions

In a two‑quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium‑low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and whole milk into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2‑3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Gruyere cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper. Optionally, add nutmeg.

Cut the crusts off the brioch toast. For each sandwich, keep one slice of toast whole, and cut the other in half diagonally to make toast points. to assemble place a whole slice of brioche toast in an oven safe dish. Add desired turkey slices. Original recipes suggests about 7 oz. Take the two halves of tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Gruyere cheese. Place the entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

For a quick dinner main, or to slice for sandwiches this is my go-to. It’s very simple and the turkey breast can be roasted while you do other things. Add some potatoes, carrots and onions to the roasting pan and you have a one pan dinner.

This is a great way to get a high quality, low-fat and low-sodium protein. It works well for Paleo and Keto diets. Leftovers are great for salads, wraps and sandwiches.

You may substitute any combination of herbs to customize this recipe to your preferences. Quantities are suggestions and you can use more or less of anything as you choose. This recipe is loosely constructed and very forgiving. The seasonings chosen below will result in a more Thanksgiving style turkey flavor. See notes for other flavor combination suggestions.

Ingredients

1 2-2.5 lb. Fresh turkey breast, skin on
2 Tablespoons fresh Sage leaves, minced (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
2 Teaspoons fresh Rosemary leaves (can substitue dried)
2 Tablespoons fresh Parsley, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh Basil, minced (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper, or Seasoning blend of choice (such as Montreal Chicken, or a Citrus Rub)
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking dish large enough to accomodate the turkey breast with foil, or use a disposable baking pan for easy cleanup.
  3. Place turkey breast, skin side up, in prepared baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper or seasoning blend. Sprinkle with onion powder. Cover with fresh herbs and chopped garlic. Pour lemon juice over.
  4. Add 1/2 water to bottom of pan. This will keep breast moist as it roasts.
  5. Roast for approximately 90 minutes until meat thermometer inserted reaches 165 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Notes:

  • Pan drippings can be used to make a gravy, or if roasting with vegetables can be stirred into vegetables to season them.
  • I typically remove the skin before slicing the turkey for sandwiches and wraps or for tossing in salad.
  • This is a low fat version. To increase fats for Keto diets, coat the turkey with a healthy oil such as avocado, olive, hemp, coconut or grass fed butter before adding seasonings.
  • Other flavor combinations:
    • Asian Style: Substitue fresh ginger, garlic, toasted sesame oil, gluten free tamari, and cilantro for above list of herbs. Use rice wine vinegar in place of the lemon juice, and a small amount of chinese five spice powder in place of seasoning blend if desired.
    • Italian Style: Substitute dried italian Seasoning for the above list of herbs, and use salt and pepper in place of the seasoning blend or rub.

Asian Pork Tenderloin

This easy marinated pork can be either grilled or roasted in the oven making it a versatile year round dish. Grilling on is my preference. It imparts a subtle smokey complexity.

I like to serve as hot with stir fried vegetables and noodles or rice. It is also excellent cold and sliced thin for sandwiches and wraps, or incorporated in dishes such as pork fried rice.

Ingredients

2 - 2 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
1 Large Lemon, juiced
4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons Ginger Root, grated
1 Tablespoon Dry Mustard

Instructions

  1. Place pork tenderloin in a shallow dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients. Pour over pork, turning to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove pork from marinade. Discard marinade.
  5. Preheat oven or grill to 450 degrees.
  6. If using the oven, place pork in a foil lined oven safe dish. This will help with clean up when the marinade carmelizes during cooking. If grilling, pork will be placed directly on the grill grates.
  7. Cook for 25 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees. If grilling, turn roast 1/2 way through cooking time to insure consistent cooking and browning.
  8. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before carving to seal in juices.

Marsala Shrimp and Parmesan Polenta

Serves 6

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.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. While polenta is cooking for the last 30-60 minutes, gather and prep all the ingredients for the Shrimp.
  3. In a saute pan or wok large enough to hold all the shrimp, melt butter.
  4. 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.
  5. Add sherry and marsala to the pan with the butter and shrimp juices. Cook over medium heat to cook off alcohol.
  6. Add wine and cook for 2-3 additional minutes to cook off alcohol.
  7. Add the stock and the Worchestershire. Add Creole seasoning to taste.
  8. Add in cream slowly stirring constantly.`
  9. Add in 1/2 the parsley, and cook a couple of minutes.
  10. Return shrimp to sauce in pan and reheat for serving.
  11. Serve in shrimp and pan sauce over polenta. Garnish each serving with a bit of fresh parsley. Top with finely grated Parmesan if desired.