It’s been a little over a month since I posted on the cookerwoman site so I am ready to get back to posting recipes! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and new year! We had a fun and eventful end to 2014 :) My husband and I sold our home in Birmingham, Alabama right before Thanksgiving and then drove to Louisiana to spend time with friends and family and celebrate at a good friends wedding! The day after Thanksgiving we began our 2 day road trip to Colorado Springs- our new home! Since being in Colorado Springs we have been adjusting to cold, snowy weather (which has been so fun), getting settled into our home, and preparing for the arrival of our 2 sweet baby boys being born in just a few short months! What a fun adventure this has been so far!

In the meantime, I’ve been cooking (lots of warm food) and have some delicious recipes to share with you. This is one that I’ve never made before but love how it turned out. This recipe was my first time to prepare a meal with polenta which is an Italian cornmeal dish that some say is similar to grits. Although, if you’re from the south you will not think it’s the same! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a creamy polenta dish and this turned out great! I made a tomato “gravy” to top the polenta with shallot, garlic, vegetable stock and grape tomatoes and some italian seasoning.One of the great things about this dish is it can be so versatile- you can add spinach, olives, or other vegetables to the tomato sauce and you can always replace the shrimp with sausage/chicken sausage. It’s a simple recipe that can be added to based on your likes! Hope you try this and enjoy it. 

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (you can use more if you like a stronger garlic flavor)
  • 1 whole container of sweet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • a few pinches of fennel seed (I love fennel seed in Italian food but if you aren’t a fan of fennel you can leave this out!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Quick cooking polenta (you can find this on the pasta aisle of most any grocery store)
  • 4 cups of water/milk or whatever measurement your polenta calls for
  • 8 ounces of peeled, deveined shrimp (fresh is best if you can get it)

Directions

  1. In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and begin cooking down the shallot and garlic.
  2. Add in the Italian seasoning and fennel. I like to add the dried seasoning this early in the process because it allows the flavors to intensify while cooking down the shallot/onion. (If you were using fresh herbs you would wait to add them near the end of the cooking process)
  3. Once you can smell the aroma of the garlic and the shallot is cooked down, add in all of the halved grape tomatoes and chicken stock. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes become soft and can be smashed down a bit with a wooden spoon. This will help create the tomato “gravy”.
  4. While the sauce is simmering start a pot of water/milk and bring to a boil for the polenta.
  5. Add in the polenta and whisk continuously until it is thick and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Add your shrimp to the tomato sauce and allow them to warm through until pink.
  7. Plate the polenta with the tomatoes and shrimp over the top and enjoy!!

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