Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Voodoo Shrimp with Spicy Polenta and Greens

I'm not sure why the original recipe developer dubbed this dish Voodoo Shrimp. Poking around a few recipes and sites, there does not seem to be one dished dubbed this title...some are skewer and grilled, some sauteed, others boiled. I found a few drenched in honey and tobasco. Other recipes calling for 2 sticks of butter. The closest recipe I could find similar to the one I based this dish off of hails from The House of Blues. The best I can tell, for this version the Voodoo comes from the beer in the stock...originally Blackened Voodoo Lager by Dixie Brewing Co.  But I'm not going to complain. The heat coupled with the mixture of flavors certainly casts in own special spell.

And beer added into the mix? Yeah, I'm netted. I do not have access to Dixie's brew, but any Schwarzbier will do in a pinch.

The spice list seems long, but you likely already have everything in the pantry. A Cajun or Creole mix would work in a pinch if need be...use about 2 Tbsps. The greens add some much needed color as well as an additional palate to sup up the great sauce. Making the spicy shrimp stock from scratch is truly worth the extra time.

adapted from Home Sweet Jones

Serves 2-3

The Ingredients:
for the shrimp
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 lb large uncooked shrimp, shelled and de-veined, (shells reserved)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 c water
6 oz black lager or Schwarzbier
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato, finely diced
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

for the polenta
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dried de arbol chile, crushed
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup coarse ground corn meal
salt and pepper to taste

for the greens
1 Tbsp oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 bunches of green (collard, turnip, radish, spinach, etc) about 12 oz

The Process
for the shrimp
In a small bowl, combine paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, oregano and thyme. 

Combine 1/2 the spice mix with the uncooked shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the celery, fennel, and garlic and sauté until fragrant 1-2 minutes. Add the shrimp shells, remaining spice mix, bay leaves, lemon juice and zest, water, Worcestershire sauce, and beer. Bring to a boil and reduce. Simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced by about half. Strain the liquid into a measuring cup, discarding the solids. There should be about 3/4 cup of liquid. 

Return the liquid to the pot and set over medium heat. Add cream and brown sugar, shrimp, and diced tomato. Simmer until shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Whisk in the butter, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

for the polenta 
Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chile. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil. 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. Remove from heat. Add the remaining butter, and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

for the greens
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and green onion. Saute until fragant, 1-2 minutes. Add half of the greens along with the salt and broth. Sautee until just wilted. Add the remaining greens, cover and remove from heat. Keep warm until ready to serve.

to serve
Spoon a serving of polenta on the center of each plate. Top with a generous serving of greens. Divide shrimp among the plates and ladle the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

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