Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cilantro Grilled Shrimp with Polenta

Shrimp or prawns as the large shrimpies are called, are a favorite on our table. I'm always searching for new ways to prepare them. This version is similar to something we ate last Christmas Eve at a seven fishes Sicilian dinner and I've been wanting to duplicate it ever since.

If you don't have preserved lemons, make some soon! If that fails, just use the juice of half a lemon and the zest of 1 and 1/2 lemons. It's the zest that is important.

All my life I have never referred to large shrimp as prawns, but for some reason here on the North Coast they are really particular about calling them prawns (the correct term for sure). So let's acquiesce and be agreeable!

Cilantro Grilled Shrimp with Polenta
(serves 2)

1 small bunch cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1/4 preserved lemon, rinsed and pulp removed, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated hard cheese (asiago, parmesan, pecorino)
1-2 tablespoons butter (to taste)
lots of black pepper
lemon wedges for garnish

Puree cilantro, garlic, preserved lemon, and olive oil until smooth. Marinate shrimp in sauce for at least 30 minutes. Broil until edges char. Meanwhile make polenta by boiling water with cornmeal and salt, stirring constantly, for at least 10 minutes. When polenta begins to thicken, add cheese, butter and pepper and spoon onto plates. Serve broiled shrimp over polenta and eat!


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