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Paprika Shrimp with Polenta and Red Pepper Sauce
(recipe, Caroline Cummins)
Loosely adapted from a McCormick recipe, this is a versatile main dish. Skip the shrimp and just serve the polenta with the red sauce, or swap out the shrimp in favor of sautéed mushrooms, or ditch the polenta in favor of pasta. You can also make the sauce and polenta ahead of time, reheat them, and sauté the shrimp at the last minute.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. red chile flakes
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
- 1 jar (12 to 13 ounces) roasted red bell peppers, drained
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup cream or ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste or ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Easy Polenta
- 1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 lb. medium to large shrimp, peeled, deveined, washed, and dried
- 1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Freshly chopped basil, for garnish
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the olive oil, chile flakes, onion, celery, and garlic for a few minutes, until the onion is beginning to turn translucent. Add the honey or agave nectar, bell peppers, stock, cream or milk, and tomato paste or breadcrumbs. Cook for a few minutes, then remove from the heat. Scrape the contents of the saucepan into a blender and blitz until smooth. Return to the saucepan and keep warm while you make the rest of the dish.
- Make the polenta: Follow the instructions for Easy Polenta; if you like, increase the polenta to 1½ cups, the water to 6 cups, and the salt to 1½ tsp. When the polenta is about halfway cooked, stir in the dried herbs. When the polenta is nearly done, stir in the butter and Parmesan.
- Make the shrimp: When the polenta is nearly done, toss the shrimp with the paprika and oil. Sauté in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until the shrimp is just cooked.
- Serve: Mound some of the polenta on a plate, topped with drizzles of the sauce and dotted with shrimp and basil. Pass extra Parmesan and salt and pepper at the table.