Spicy Cheddar Polenta

Spicy Cheddar Polenta

This spicy polenta recipe makes a delicious and easy side dish. Jalepenos, onion, tomato, green bell pepper and onion are sauteed while the polenta cooks. The polenta is mixed with sharp white cheddar and the fried vegetables are served over top. The contrast between the two is mind-numbing. The spicy hot vegetables with the texture of the cooling , creamy polenta  is insanely delicious!  If you’ve never eaten polenta – you have to try it! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Spicy Cheddar Polenta

Spicy Cheddar Polenta
(by Reeni)

1 cup Polenta
2-3 jalepenos, diced, remove the seeds for milder heat
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
vegetable/canola oil for sauteing
8 ounces shredded or cubed sharp white cheddar
Sea salt and fresh pepper

Cook polenta according to package directions. In the meantime saute the jalapenos, onion, and green pepper in a tablespoon or two of oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato and garlic, saute until garlic is fragrant. When the polenta is cooked add the white cheddar and stir until melted. Remove from heat to a platter or bowl. Top with the sauteed vegetables.

Printable Recipe

Spicy Cheddar Polenta

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Parmesan Polenta and Grilled Romaine

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp w/ Parmesan Polenta & Grilled Romaine

Gremolata was my inspiration for this dish. A gremolata is an uncooked condiment made up of finely minced garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Traditionally it is served over Ossobucco alla Milanese, an Italian dish of braised veal shank. The mission of the gremolata is to wake up and brighten the flavors in a dish. It livens up heavy meat dishes and works wonderful as a garnish for seafood, fish and vegetables.

This recipe comes together quickly and everything goes well together. Grilling the romaine gave it a unique, earthy taste. The shrimp are tender, succulent, and vibrantly fresh-tasting with the gremolata. The velvety Polenta was wildly fragrant from the fresh rosemary and had a little bite from the Parmesan that complimented the shrimp and romaine. It melted in my mouth. The shrimp and romaine would make a great meal on their own. The shrimp served over rice or pasta would be equally delicious. The shrimp is the real star of the show here. If you’re a shrimp lover than this one’s for you!

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp w/ Parmesan Polenta & Grilled Romaine

Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Parmesan Polenta with Grilled Romaine
(by Reeni)

2 Romaine heart bunches, each heart cut into thirds or quarters, lengthwise
1 cup Polenta(long-cooking) or cornmeal*
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, rough chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan or Romano
1 yellow onion, diced
olive oil for sauteing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine(optional)**
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough-chopped
lemon peel, fresh grated from 2 lemons
1 and 1/2 pounds Shrimp, medium or large, cleaned
Parmesan, for serving

Cook the Polenta according to package directions. Turn off heat and stir in the rosemary, butter and Parmesan.

For the shrimp:

To a large skillet or saute pan add the oil and onion. Cook over low heat until translucent.

Add garlic and saute for two to three more minutes. **If using wine add it now and bring to a simmer. If not using wine add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add the parsley, lemon peel and shrimp all at once. Saute until shrimp turn pink and curl up.

For the Romaine:

Grill the Romaine bunches briefly in a grill pan, on your outside grill or on a George Foreman grill. Sear each side. You don’t want to cook it through until it is limp.

To assemble:

Place a few spoons of Polenta on a plate, a Romaine bunch on top and then the shrimp. Serve with extra Parmesan.

*A regular grind cornmeal can be substituted.

Cornmeal Polenta

1 cup cornmeal
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt

In a large, deep pan over high heat bring water and Sea salt to a boil. Gradually stir in cornmeal.

Reduce heat and simmer very gently, stirring frequently, use a long handled spoon, mixture may bubble, for about 35 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp w/ Parmesan Polenta & Grilled Romaine

Spicy Barbecue Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Polenta

Spicy Barbecue Shrimp & Cheddar Cheese Polenta

This a spicy Shrimp and Polenta recipe that is fairly quick and easy to make but will really impress. Polenta is made from ground yellow or white cornmeal and slowly cooked rendering a smooth and creamy texture. This recipe has a generous amount of Extra Sharp Cheddar melted into it and a bit of butter that makes it rich and decadent.

The shrimp are sautéed in a trinity of onion, green pepper, and garlic and are infused with a fiery Creole seasoning and barbecue sauce. The contrast between the textures and flavors of the intensely hot, succulent shrimp and the cool, velvety polenta is indescribably delicious. Blissful.

Spicy Barbecue Shrimp & Cheddar Cheese Polenta
(by Reeni)
1 cup Polenta
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, sliced in thin strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1-2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, depending on how hot you like it (Emeril’s Creole/Bayou
Blast seasoning or recipe to follow)
1 and 1/ 2 cups Barbecue Sauce (like Jack Daniels)
1 and 1/2 pounds of medium or large shrimp, cleaned
2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1. Cook Polenta according to package directions.
2. While the Polenta is cooking saute the onion, green pepper, and seasoning in oil in a large
saute pan on low heat until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
3. Turn heat up to medium-high and add barbecue sauce and shrimp. Cook until shrimp start to curl. Remove from heat.
4. When the Polenta is finished cooking add the butter and cheddar whisking until melted.
5. Serve the shrimp over a generous helping of Polenta.
Seasoning Mix
(adapted from Emeril)
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 and ½ teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne or 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Peperoncino
1 and ½ teaspoon oregano
1 and ½ teaspoon thyme
Mix well in a small bowl. Store in a covered container.

Spicy Barbecue Polenta & Cheddar Cheese Polenta