Wednesday, March 26, 2014
It's that time of year when things start heating up in the kitchen, and I mean heating up literally. The temperatures in Phoenix have already hit the eighty's. The winter grass is beginning to look a little ragged, and the remaining grapefruits need to be picked from our tree. A few months ago, I planted some chard and green beans and a few flowers, like nasturtiums and bachelor buttons from seed. I'm happy to report everything is progressing along quite well. I also keep a few herbs both outside by the front door and in the back yard near our large eucalyptus tree. For last nights dinner, it was so easy to grab a pair of scissors, walk a few feet out the front door and snip a handful of fresh parsley.
Having fresh herbs available is a big help when preparing our day to day meals. Tuesday night when walking into the kitchen, all I knew was that there was going to be shrimp and polenta. I know it's terrible, but that how I plan ahead. Yep, that was the big plan. Anyway, I goggled those two ingredients and came up with several options, one being this recipe from "Food and Wine" November 2004 edition, contributed by Mario Batali, who I believe is one of the great rock stars of all things culinary. After adjusting a few ingredients here and there, this is my version.
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
1/2 cup Parmesan (grated)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions (thinly sliced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14-5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pound extra large wild blue shrimp
1/4 cup parsley (coarsely chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups water to a boil with the sugar. Whisk in polenta, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Parmesan cheese, taste and if necessary add salt. Press a piece of parchment paper directly onto the surface of the polenta, set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and add scallions and red pepper flakes, cook over moderate heat 1 minute. Add wine, stirring until most of the liquid is gone, then add crushed tomatoes and juice. Simmer until 1/2 of the liquid has evaporated. Add the shrimp and simmer until just cooked about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, lemon zest and juice. Taste then season with salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from heat. Rewarm polenta, then serve with shrimp ragout. Enjoy!
Cheri Savory Spoon
Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.
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