As much as cooking is a passion of mine, finding a meal that comes together quickly, simply and impressively is like finding a five pound box of jumbo shrimp at my door! So, imagine my happiness right now…I’m one of thirty food bloggers chosen to participate in a Shrimp Showdown hosted by OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council. So, with a box full of OXO tools and another of jumbo shrimp, I’ve come up with a simple recipe perfect for a quick weeknight meal and special enough for fuss-free entertaining.
We love seafood, but shrimp may be our favorite. What I love about shrimp is its versatility. It just melds with any variation of flavors. I have to tell you, I had a very long list of ideas for this project and at some point, I’ll share them all with you, but I wanted this to be something simple that can become your go-to recipe. The shrimp, as you know, cooks in mere minutes, so, pairing it with a quick cooking polenta gives you this perfect dish that looks like you fussed…but you didn’t. No one has to know…I’ll keep that secret!
Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta
1 1/2 C. milk (I use a low fat milk)
1 1/2 C. low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 C. quick cooking polenta
1/4 C. ricotta (I use fat free, but use what you have)
1 T. butter
1/8 C. grated Parmesan
Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas
4 oz. pancetta, finely diced
approx. 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. dry white wine
4 Campari tomatoes, quartered (you can also use about 1/2 C. of grape tomatoes halved)
1 C. peas, fresh or frozen
fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Prepare the polenta first. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the milk and the broth and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, reduce the heat to low and cook for about two minutes. Add the ricotta, butter and Parmesan. Cook for another 30 seconds. Cover and remove from the heat. Set aside.
In a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle just a tad (about 1 teaspoon) of olive oil and add the pancetta. Cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta begins to crisp a bit and get golden. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for just about 2 minutes per side. Do this in two batches to avoid crowding the pan. Once the shrimp are cooked, move them to the plate with the pancetta. You may need to add another small drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Now, add the onion and be careful to just sweat the onion. You don’t want to brown it. As soon as the onion is translucent, add the garlic. Cook for just a minute and add the white wine. Simmer for another minute and add the tomatoes and peas. After one more minute add the shrimp and pancetta back to the pan and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Toss everything together.
To serve, divide the polenta between four dinner plates, top with the shrimp and pancetta and sprinkle on some lemon zest, parsley and some extra grated Parmesan.
- The polenta will seem a bit loose right after you’ve made it, but this is intentional. As it sits, it will thicken up and become the perfect consistency for serving. If you like it even more loose, feel free to whisk in a tiny bit of warm milk before serving.
- I love adding the ricotta to this polenta, but if you don’t have any…the recipe will still work fine. It does add a bit of creaminess that I really like.
Another key to bringing this together quickly and easily is working with great tools. I’d never seen this OXO tool before, but their Shrimp Cleaner is very cool! I was intimidated just looking at it, but once I tried it…I was impressed. It removes the shell and the vein in basically one step. Easy peasy. Some of their other tools I used are their 3 Piece Bowl and Colander Set for rinsing the shrimp, the Flexible Kitchen and Herb Snips for snipping fresh parsley and I absolutely love their 12″ Tongs with Silicone Heads. They get used on a daily basis in my kitchen and I love that they don’t scratch my pans in the process.
Lucky you…OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council are giving away a set of those tools and many more along with a $100 Visa card! Click to enter now!
Click here to enter to win all of these great OXO Shrimp Tools ($80 value) and a $100 Visa Gift Card from the NFI Shrimp Council!
Disclaimer: This post and giveaway are sponsored by OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council. I was given the tools and the shrimp to provide a review. All opinions are one hundred percent my own.
Take a peek at all of the other food bloggers participating in the Shrimp Showdown!
A Zesty Bite
Coconut and Lime
Created by Diane
Foxes Love Lemons
Garnish with Lemon
Growing up Gabel