Smoked Goat Cheese Polenta & Shrimp in Romesco Sauce

Please tell me I’m not the only one who becomes a total lazy bum in the heat.

Crank up the heat and humidity and all of a sudden I don’t want to do much of anything. You really don’t want to know how big my pile of laundry is right now. And the chores and errands I keep putting it off. Or maybe the heat is making me forgetful as well as lazy.

That might explain whey when it comes to cooking, I’ve been sticking to the simplest things possible and those I already know how to make.

And why I will always go out of my way to buy shrimp that someone else already peeled and deveined. Because it would be especially annoying to spend extra time deveining shrimp right now. But really, do you ever actually enjoy deveining shrimp?

If you can get some hands on some easy shrimp and a good smoked cheese, I suggest you make this dish. The romesco sauce, slightly adapted from Jane Spice, is one of the simpler and versions of this recipe I’ve seen, which makes this perfect for a lazy summer night. With the right mix of bold ingredients like roasted peppers, toasted almonds and sharp fresh parsley, you don’t a lot of them. The spicy, smokey flavors are perfectly balanced with the sweet shrimp and polenta. Even if you can’t be as lazy as me and have to devein your shrimp, trust me, your tastebuds will thank you.

You might guess that this smoked goat cheese is another selection from Westfield Farm, who also makes the wasabi goat cheese I used in my Stuffed Miso Salmon and the chocolate goat cheese I used in my Double Chocolate & Cherry Goat Cheese Muffins. You’d be right! The farm is located in Hubbardston, MA, which is about a 25 minute drive west of Worcester. Or, according to alert reader Elina, Boston-area readers can pick some up at the Copley farmers’ market on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And for everyone else, you can order online through their website.


Shrimp in Romesco Sauce over Smoked Goat Cheese Polenta

Printable Recipe

1/2 lb uncooked colossal shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large red pepper*
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (15gm) sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
pinch of crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 oz smoked goat cheese, or other smoked cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

Begin by roasting the red pepper. This can be done under a broiler or over a grill or gas burner. Spray the pepper with cooking spray (or drizzle with olive oil) and keep it near the flame, turning, until all sides are charred. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool. Peel the charred skin from the roasted pepper and remove the seeds. Cut the pepper into thin slices. This can be done ahead of time.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook the onions until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted pepper slices, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are very soft and the onions are caramelized. (Hint: I use the same trick here I do anytime I caramelize onions, adding a bit of water to the pan to keep them from sticking. If you do this, let any remaining water evaporate before adding the remaining ingredients.)

Add the garlic and almonds, and cook for abou5 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant. Add the paprika, red pepper, parsley, vinegar, and chicken broth and simmer for a few more minutes, to blend flavors. Let it cool a bit, then pulse in a blender, leaving it just a bit chunky.

To make the polenta, heat the chicken broth until boiling. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal until no lumps remain. Cook over medium for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Add the goat cheese and rosemary, and season to taste with salt & pepper.

When ready to serve, heat the romesco sauce in a skillet. When hot, add the shrimp and simmer until shrimp are just opaque, about 5 minutes.

Divide the polenta among the serving plates and top with the shrimp in romesco sauce.

*Here, I roasted my own peppers, which goes completely against the laziness I just spoke about. I found myself with an extra few minutes the night before and felt ambitious. If you don’t, roasted peppers from a jar are perfectly fine.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 420.8
Total Fat: 13.3 g
Cholesterol: 166.4 mg
Sodium: 1,412.3 mg
Total Carbs: 37.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.8 g
Protein: 35.8 g

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31 Responses to “Smoked Goat Cheese Polenta & Shrimp in Romesco Sauce”

  1. 1

    Shannon — July 26, 2010 @ 11:59 am Reply

    yeah, when it's this hot in my kitchen, i stick to simple, too. although i do turn it on for things like fruit crisps and zucchini bread :)this sounds delicious!! never had smoked goat cheese, did you get it from the infamous place that has the chocolate variety?

  2. 2

    Cara — July 26, 2010 @ 12:24 pm Reply

    Yes Shannon! I knew there was something I forgot to mention in this post. Going to fix that now.

  3. 3

    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self — July 26, 2010 @ 12:39 pm Reply

    This looks and sounds crazy good! I've actually been craving polenta lately…it's totally a comfort food for me.

  4. 4

    newlywed — July 26, 2010 @ 12:52 pm Reply

    Mmm! Smoked goat cheese! You had me sold at the chocolate goat cheese, but now my mom and I are definitely planning on a trip out there this summer!

  5. 5

    Dawn — July 26, 2010 @ 1:41 pm Reply

    I was very lazy all weekend. We literally didn't leave the house except for dinner Saturday night as it was so hot. Loving this recipe!

  6. 6

    Lizzy — July 26, 2010 @ 3:00 pm Reply

    This looks so gourmet! I can't wait to try it. Your picture is fantastic! I have still been cooking in this heat mainly because of all the produce I get each week at my CSA so I don't have a choice!

  7. 7

    Jennifurla — July 26, 2010 @ 3:01 pm Reply

    You had me at goat cheese

  8. 8

    Mandy — July 26, 2010 @ 3:15 pm Reply

    Yes, you had me at goat cheese too! The recipe looks wonderful and I've never tried Romesco Sauce. Great post.

  9. 9

    Bridget — July 26, 2010 @ 4:25 pm Reply

    Oh geez Cara – I recently bought a bag of frozen shrimp that is unpeeled (but is deveined at least) and is 61-70 shrimp per pound! So many tiny shrimp to peel! Sigh. I'm making pad thai with it tonight, and I'm not looking forward to that part.This looks fantastic – I love polenta and don't use it nearly often enough.

  10. 10

    foodies at home — July 26, 2010 @ 5:19 pm Reply

    This dish looks so yummy…I have utterly failed at polenta over and over….such a simple dish but I can't seem to get it right!

  11. 11

    Joanne — July 26, 2010 @ 6:19 pm Reply

    I've been feeling pretty lazy also…but at least right now I can blame it on my broken oven. I love romesco sauce…I made it earlier this year with chickpeas and it was fantastic. I bet it would be great over polenta – good call.

  12. 12

    Katie — July 27, 2010 @ 12:12 am Reply

    Shrimp, goat cheese, polenta. ahhh…..my favorite things! Sounds amazing!

  13. 13

    grace — July 27, 2010 @ 7:55 am Reply

    look at you, getting super-fancy!i'm a lazy bum year-round, but it tends to become exponentially worse in the heat. :)

  14. 14

    Susan from Food Blogga — July 27, 2010 @ 12:58 pm Reply

    Smoked goat cheese polenta? That sounds fabulous, Cara! What a beautiful dish!

  15. 15

    Barbara — July 27, 2010 @ 2:01 pm Reply

    Cooking in the heat is NOT one of my favorite things either!I have been reading a lot about romesco sauce…sounds (and looks) delish. And where on earth did you find smoked goat cheese?? I don't think I am looking carefully enough. It sounds marvelous. I do love polenta.

  16. 16

    Cuteshorn — July 27, 2010 @ 4:14 pm Reply

    do you want to eat this again on Friday? Please?

  17. 17

    carascravings — July 28, 2010 @ 11:45 am Reply

    It looks so gourmet!It definitely does not look like a "I'm tired" meal.And I agree with you, the heat does affect my motivation…dirty laundry and a bathroom cleaning are still waiting for me.

  18. 18

    Elina — July 28, 2010 @ 12:27 pm Reply

    This looks fantastic. I love bold flavors like this!… and I'm sorry, readers – the Copley market actually sells a different brand of goat cheese. I was wrong. But they do come in lots of delicious flavors and they're local. Sorry, Cara, for the misinformation. :)

  19. 19

    Maria — July 28, 2010 @ 4:02 pm Reply

    Great recipe. I love polenta!

  20. 20

    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — July 29, 2010 @ 3:41 am Reply

    oh did my last comment not go thru…crap…

  21. 21

    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — July 29, 2010 @ 3:42 am Reply

    i just typed you this bible toowas trying to say your comment about hair/former self totally resonated w/ me in that you have come so far and done so many amazing things, that that identity and all that jazz, self construct will work itself out in time…sorry cant retype it all but hopefully you get my gist :)

  22. 22

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — July 29, 2010 @ 1:15 pm Reply

    Believe it or not de-veining shrimp really does not bug me. Not sure why. Your Romesco Shrimp look great, I have not yet made a sauce like this but I do want to try it. xo

  23. 23

    Jen — July 29, 2010 @ 2:00 pm Reply

    This looks awesome Cara. Hubby just realized how much he loves polenta so we're going to have to make this soon

  24. 24

    ellysaysopa.com — July 30, 2010 @ 12:45 am Reply

    This looks really fabulous and I'm saving it for sure. I'm always looking for more easy shrimp recipes! I need to get my hands on some smoked goat cheese.

  25. 25

    Susan — July 31, 2010 @ 12:42 pm Reply

    That photo is absolutely amazing. I'm the same way, my apartment is so hot in the summer I have been having simple sandwiches for dinner lately because I'm too hot and lazy to do anything more.

  26. 26

    Kerstin — August 3, 2010 @ 4:18 am Reply

    Smoked goat cheese?!? How cool! This dish looks like an entree on a restaurant menu – I'm impressed :)

  27. 27

    Kevin — August 4, 2010 @ 1:23 am Reply

    What a tasty way to enjoy some shrimp! Now I just have to find some of that smoked goat cheese! :)

  28. 28

    Olga — August 11, 2010 @ 1:09 am Reply

    goat cheese seems to be getting around :)Love polenta and usually make it with blue cheese or feta, but goatcheese is a great alternative!

  29. 29

    Kevin — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    What a tasty way to enjoy some shrimp! Now I just have to find some of that smoked goat cheese! :)

  30. 30

    Katie @ Health for the Whole S — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    This looks and sounds crazy good! I've actually been craving polenta lately…it's totally a comfort food for me.

  31. 31

    Jennifurla — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    You had me at goat cheese

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