I whipped up this delicious little bowl of goodness the other night for dinner that I thought was just too good not to share. I had a hodgepodge of ingredients and a hankering for jambalaya, but couldn’t find a recipe that seemed to fit my craving, so I made up my own!
For the Polenta…
- 4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water; basically 6 cups total of whatever liquid you’d like to use.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
This is a very standard and simple way of preparing polenta. Bring 6 cups of liquid to a boil in a large saucepan; a Dutch oven works great! Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted. After the polenta was completely cooked to the consistency I wanted (similar to grits) I shredded some Manchego cheese into it and let them meet and melt together a bit. Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese that I grabbed at the store last week because honestly, I had never had it before and wanted to see what it was all about. I think it’s pretty flavorful but still mild, creamy, salty, and a good alternative to a traditional cow’s milk cheese.
Next, you’ll want to sauté all the veggies, shrimp, and sausage to spoon over your polenta.
For the shrimp and sausage…
- Half of a white onion; sliced
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic or two cloves finely minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine; I used Chardonnay because that’s what I was drinking while I was making dinner 🙂
- Half a bunch of asparagus; cut diagonally in about 2-3 inch increments
- Half a container of baby bella mushrooms; trimmed and cut into even pieces
- 1 lb. jumbo shrimp; deveined and shelled
- 1 lb. any sausage variety; I used Aidell’s Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese that I found at my local grocery store. Already fully cooked and super tasty. We eat different varieties of these a lot.
And for this, I basically just let the olive oil heat up in a medium sized sauté pan, threw in the onions and let them sweat in there until they were tender, added the garlic as well as the asparagus and mushrooms and then let all of that cook a bit before adding the shrimp and sausage (which don’t take long at all.) I used the white wine to clean up the pan and give it all a little more flavor. Lastly, add the shrimp and sausage and you just want the shrimp to turn pink and let the sausage heat up and brown a bit. I threw in some salt and pepper at the end, but the sausage already has a lot of flavor that incorporates into the whole dish. And, that’s it!
I spooned some of the polenta in a bowl, followed by the shrimp and sausage mixture, then topped it off with a little bit more of that grated Manchego cheese, but you could really use any cheese you like. We will definitely be having this again in the near future! …when shrimp goes on sale again, that is 😉