Sabrina and I were shopping at Vallarta Markets, which is a latino market, and we came across some rather fresh looking 30-40 count shrimp, shell on. We picked some up, and I knew I wanted to try some shrimp and grits. I liked the idea of incorporating Old Bay seasoning into a veggie, which in this case was cauliflower. I realized that if one wanted to keep this dish full veggie, they could substitute some more cauliflower for the shrimp. Sabrina suggested doing a Shrimp Diavolo, which is a spicy tomato based shrimp dish, and I knew it would go great with grits. I was soooo right!! Great combo, and very sexy.
Peel and prep the shrimp for the marinade:
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (You can substitute blanched cauliflower to keep it full vegetarian)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, or red chile flakes
- 3 Tbls olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 - 7 ¾ oz. can El Pato Jalapeño Salsa (the green one)
- 1 med. white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme and 2 sprigs fresh oregano tied together (bouquet garni)
- 1 tsp sliced fresh oregano
Toss the peeled shrimp (or cauliflower) with 1 Tbls olive oil, Aleppo pepper and salt. Let marinade for about 15 min.
Next get the cauliflower in the oven and start cooking the shrimp:
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into ½" florets
- 1 tsp Old Bay spice
- 1 Tbls olive oil
Preheat oven to 400º
Place cauliflower on a sheet pan, and toss with olive oil and Old Bay. Roast in a 400º oven for about 15 min., until browed and tender. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add 2 Tbls of olive oil. Cook shrimp in pan, flipping once until browned and no longer translucent, about 2 min. per side. Reserve shrimp, cover loosely and keep warm. Return pan to heat, add a little more olive oil and saute the onions for about 5 min., until translucent and tender. Add garlic and herb bundle, and cook for about 1 min. Deglaze pan with white wine, and reduce by half over medium heat. Add El Pato tomato sauce, and simmer for about 2 -3 min. Add reserved shrimp, cook for another min. or two, cover and keep warm over very low heat.
While the shrimp cooks, put together the polenta:
- 2 cups Veggie Stock (I used Un-Chicken Broth)
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup coarse corn meal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Place medium sauce pan over medium heat, and in stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Slowly add in corn meal, whisking away as you do, and cook, whisking often for about 8 - 10 min. until smooth and creamy. Add salt, black pepper and Parmesan, and stir well. If mixture is too thick, simply add some butter or a little more milk to thin out. Grits solidify rather quickly when they cool off, so serve quickly and make sure they are not TOO thick before you plate.
Time to PLATE!
Lay down a nice bed of grits on the plate (about 1/2 cup), and then layer on a 1/3 cup of the Old Bay cauliflower. Spoon over about 1/2 cup of the Shrimp Diavolo mixture on top, and garnish with the fresh sliced oregano and serve.