When we visited Charleston last spring we went to a little brewery for dinner and adult beverages on our first night in town. Everyone said, if you visit Charleston you need to eat some shrimp and grits. So…I ordered the shrimp and grits and enjoyed every bite. This recipe is my take on that dinner but I substituted polenta for the grits. I like grits but I like polenta a little better. You can serve this with grits if you’d like. It’s a really easy meal to prepare and very satisfying. I tried to enjoy an IPA with my dinner when we were at the brewery but they were tapping a new keg and I had my IPA for dessert. My timing was better at home.
4 T olive oil
1/2 cup green onions diced
2-3 cloves of garlic sliced thin
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 lemon zested and juiced
2 T tomato paste
red pepper flakes to taste
3/4-1 pound of raw shrimp cleaned and deveined
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare your polenta (or grits) per package instructions.
In a heavy skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and saute about half of the onion, red peppers flakes to taste and all of the garlic for a minute or two. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook a couple minutes on each side.
When they’re done the shrimp will be opaque and the shells will be pink. Remove the shrimp to a platter and set aside.
You want to cook the shrimp with the shells on because the shells add a lot of flavor to the dish. Add the tomato paste to the skillet and cook over medium heat stirring constantly for a couple minutes. Stir in the white wine and a quarter cup of water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3-4 minutes to reduce slightly.
Stir in the remaining green onion, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the shrimp back to the skillet and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Dish up some polenta (or grits) into your bowl and ladle on the shrimp and sauce.
Serve with a salad and some crusty bread and a nice cold IPA and enjoy!
NOTE: I buy white wine in little four packs. We drink very little white wine and the little bottles are the perfect size for cooking. If you don’t have any wine on hand you can substitute chicken or seafood broth.
I did not do this but, if you prefer, before adding the shrimp back into the sauce you can remove all but the tails from the shrimp making them a little easier, less messy, to eat.