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
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.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
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