Grilled Shrimp with Chive Polenta Cakes

When I first saw this recipe I thought “Shrimp. Polenta. Chives. Sold.” Three things that I like all together in one meal, it definitely had to be made.

The other thing I really liked about this recipe that it’s one that can be prepared ahead of time and cooked as you are just about to serve it in under 10 minutes. I also think it looks much ‘fancier’ than the preparation involved. I’m sure it would impress just about any dinner guest.

I also took some liberties with the shrimp. I don’t think they really mind, they probably enjoyed it. The original called for basil, which I am so totally not a fan of. Basil = grosssssss. I am, however, a firm believer that it is not a real meal unless there are mass quantities of  garlic and paprika involved (you can take the girl out of Hungary…).  

Grilled Shrimp with Chive Polenta Cakes (adapted from this recipe)

Chive Polenta Cakes:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pyrex dish
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • small bunch of chives
Grilled Shrimp
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. minced onion
  • 1 tbsp. oregano, dried or fresh
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Butter a Pyrex dish (the original recipe calls for an 8×8, I used something that was more like a 6×10, worked just as well). In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cornmeal, and butter, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, over medium high heat. When mixture begins to simmer, add salt, chives and goat cheese , and keep stirring until thick, about 15 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool and thicken until thick enough to slice, about 3 hours.

Place shrimp, olive oil, paprika, garlic, onion, some big pinches of salt and pepper, and oregano in a large bowl and toss to combine; place in the fridge until polenta has set.

When polenta has set, you can either cut the polenta into slices in the pyrex or un-mold the polenta onto a cutting board and cut it there. Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat.

Gently grill polenta slices until grill marks form, and polenta is heated though, about 8 minutes. Remove from grill and reserve. Grill shrimp until pink and beginning to char, about 3 minutes per side.

The most exciting part of the whole meal was the accompanying side salad! What’s so exciting about lettuce you ask? Well, this was the first harvest from out our garden! I maintain that our homegrown, organic, pesticide-free, raised with tender love and care lettuce tasted much better than what we get at the store, but Mama CC says there was no difference… I like my story better.

I served the lettuce with a little mustardy vinaigrette which is super simple to make a goes with just about any salad.

Mustardy Vinaigrette

  • 1 big spoonful of dijon mustard (I normally use grainy, but we were out)
  • 1 big glug of olive oil
  • 1 medium glug of white wine vinegar
  • Garlic, fresh, minced or I like to use Garlic Gold Nuggets
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

4 thoughts on “Grilled Shrimp with Chive Polenta Cakes

  1. Pingback: Sunday Summary! July 24, 2011 « Clare Cooks!

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