Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shrimp and Tomatoes Over Soft Polenta

Q. What do you do if you're sitting around with some frozen shrimp, corn meal and a can of diced tomatoes?
A. This recipe.

This is another I found in Everyday Foods and I love it because it tastes good, it's healthy and it introduced me to soft polenta. The only suggestion I have is: don't make it for guests if they don't like tomatoes!

1 1/2 lbs frozen medium shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined (tails removed)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoons red-pepper flaces
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 recipe Soft Polenta
green beans

1. Season shrimp generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add shrimp; cook until opaque throughout, turning occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; set aside.

If you buy frozen shrimp skip step #1. Simply put the shrimp in a collandar and rinse with cool water until no longer frozen (just a few minutes).

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan; cook garlic and red-pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juices along with 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and become saucy, about 15 minutes. (I think this step actually takes 25 - 30 minutes but maybe it's just me.)

Meanwhile make Soft Polenta. Just before serving, stir reserved shrimp into tomatoes. Divide polenta among four bowls; spoon shrimp and tomatoes over polenta. Serve with green beans* if desired (and let me say, you desire).

*Green Beans:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 1 lb trimmed green beans until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Toss with 1 tablespoon butter, if desired (and let me say, you desire). Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

Make this! You won't be disappointed.

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