Cajun Inspired Shrimp and Italian Grits (Polenta)
Through a weekly cooking challenge among friends, we happened upon “Cajun” as the theme. I’m born and bread in Canada. Except for a handful of dishes I’ve eaten, Cajun, is a just a Southern concept. I scoured the grocery stores for grits – nada. Fresh shrimp in the prairies? $$$ So….
Thus, my inspiration to cook Cajun was going to be an inspired, adapted, spirited. Clearly, my dish, or what would become Cajun Inspired Shrimp and Italian Grits (Polenta) is not authentic. However, I will suggest that “real” grits seem to be much more challenging to cook from a raw state. A tube of Polenta from the grocery store is very low maintenance and therefore easy! If you’re cringing, this recipe is likely not for you. If you’re curious, cook with me! Recipe below!
Cajun Shrimp and Italian Grits (Polenta)
- Dutch oven or pot with lid
- Heat proof spatula
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 +1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 lb shrimp
Cajun Trinity and Polenta
- ½ cup or 2 celery stalks diced fine
- ½ cup or ½ green pepper diced fine
- ½ cup or ½ onion diced fine
- 1 garlic clove diced fine
- ¼ cup of whipping cream
- 1 kg 2.2 lb Tube of Polenta, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix cajun seasoning into a small bowl.
- Blot shrimp dry with paper towel.
- Sprinkle cajun seasoning onto both sides of shrimp and set shrimp aside. Sprinkle any remaining cajun seasoning on vegetables.
- Heat tablespoon of vegetable oil in Dutch Oven or large pot on high heat and sear shrimp on both sides. Set aside cooked shrimp into a bowl.
- In the same Dutch oven on medium heat, add an additional tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Add onion, celery and green pepper and cook until tender.
- Add ½ cup of cream to vegetables and cook until combined. Move cooked vegetables into a bowl and set aside.
- In the same Dutch oven, add polenta cubes and chicken broth with Dutch Oven lid on, until the polenta becomes soft about 15 minutes. Stir until polenta softens.
- Add whipping cream to polenta mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add additional water for more desired consistency.
- In serving dishes, spoon generous helping of polenta and top with vegetables and shrimp.