Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shrimp and Sausage Polenta

My boyfriend doesn't dig shrimp the way most Louisiana folk do, so I don't end up dealing with these shellfish too often. Therefore, on these few and far-between occasions, I like to make sure I do it up big.

I had some delicious stone-ground polenta grits that I picked up at the farmers' market a while back. All they needed for dressing up were some choice meats and veggies!

First I seasoned my shrimp with sweet paprika, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper. 

I then set the shrimp aside and heated up two tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. I used sunflower oil, because I've been trying to be a bit healthier lately, but your mileage may vary of course. Then I added asparagus, onion, garlic, and corn and cooked them for about 8 minutes (once the onions were translucent and all was tender.)

At this point, I stirred in the crushed tomatoes, sour cream, vegetable broth, and hot sauce. I brought the mixture to a boil and then turned it down to simmer for ten minutes.

During this time I spritzed a 12-inch cast iron skillet with olive oil spray, turned the heat up to medium-high, and added the shrimp and sausage in, stirring it frequently till the sausage browned and the shrimp turned bright pink.

I then added the meats to the tomato mixture and wiped out the skillet.

I returned the cleaned skillet to the burner, setting the heat to medium, and added the polenta.

 It toasted for a minute or two before I poured and stirred in hot water. Then I lowered the heat and let the grits cook until the water had evaporated.

Once the water went on its merry way, I placed a dollop (or two or six) of grits in a bowl and ladled the shrimp, sausage, tomato extravaganza on top.

Shrimp and Sausage Polenta
Serves 3.

50 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
12 oz. sausage, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
Olive oil spray
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 dash hot sauce
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable stock
3/4 cup polenta grits
3 cups hot water

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