Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shrimp with Cuban Polenta and Guajillo Salsa

This is my take on shrimp and grits, using a Cuban style polenta recipe from Gran Cocina Latina and a salsa from Rick Bayless's Mexican Everyday

Guajillo Salsa (makes ~3/4 cup):
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 guajillo chilis, stems removed
4-6 (1/2 lb.) tomatillos, husked, washed and halved
3 cloves garlic, peeled

Remove the stems from the chilis and remove the seeds if you wish. I left some of them in for additional spice. Heat a pan over medium, add the oil and the chilis. Cook the chilis for about 30 seconds per side. Remove, cut into a few pieces and add to a blender jar.

Add the tomatillos and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the tomatillos and garlic get some color on them, then flip and repeat. Add to the blender jar.

Blend the mixture into a liquid. Season with salt and refrigerate to store.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes (12 oz.), peeled, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, mashed with a mortar and pestle, or finely chopped and mashed
1 teaspoon salt

For our purposes, this will make a bunch of extra sofrito, but you can use the leftovers in all sorts of dishes, so just make the full recipe.

Heat the oil in a 12” pan until it shimmers. Add the garlic, sautee for 20 seconds, then add the onions and cook until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes soften and the fat is separated from the solids and starts to shimmer again.

Polenta (for 2):
¾ cup coarse yellow cornmeal (polenta)
2 ¼ cup water

Bring the water to a boil in a medium pan, add some salt, then slowly add the cornmeal. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Ladle in 1 cup of sofrito and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt if needed.

Shrimp (for 2):
12 to 16 medium shrimp, deveined, shelled (tails on)
1 ½ sticks of butter (may need more depending on pan)
Salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 tbsp water

Heat 1 tbsp of water to a boil in a medium pot, whisk in the butter in a few additions to emulsify.  Add salt if using unsalted butter. Bring to a simmer, add the shrimp (make sure you have enough butter to cover the shrimp) and cover, simmering for 3 minutes.

Remove shrimp from butter and serve on top of polenta. Spoon some salsa on top and garnish with cilantro.


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