Gamberi e “Grits”

With spicy shrimp with jalapeños, kale, and soft polenta

Taking Requests S2_12_14_2015_6


For the grits:

1 cup polenta

5 cups water, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon honey

2/3 cup grated semi soft young Pecorino Toscano (alternatively, Pecorino Romano)

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


For the shrimp:

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper, to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each)

4 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 jalapeño sliced into thin rounds, plus 1 jalapeño, julienned

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ in dice 

2 cups plus 1 cup kale, finely shredded or chiffonade

½ cup scallions, cut into 1-inch sections

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco


To prepare the grits, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the grits and the water and bring to a boil.


Reduce the heat to low, loosely cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and honey.


Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp:

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Put the shrimp in a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss with the flour to coat evenly.


In a medium fry pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, brown the shrimp on one side until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp, let cook for 5 seconds, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.


Return the pan to high heat, add the garlic, jalapeño rounds and bell pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Then add the kale and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.


Add the shrimp, the green onions, lemon zest and half of the lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are opaque throughout.


In a small bowl, mix together the remaining kale and julienned jalapeño and dress with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the rest of the lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.


Divide the grits among 6 bowls and top with the shrimp and kale mixture. Garnish with a little of the kale and jalapeño salad and serve immediately.


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