Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shrimp and Sausage over Polenta

This is a fun take on Shrimp and Grits. We went to Orlando for our anniversary last month and I had a dish very similar to this. The dish in Orlando also included a nice piece of poached fish, but I am not confident enough to poach fish. To plate ours, I placed creamy, sun-dried tomato polenta in a bowl. I then topped the polenta with a little wilted spinach and spooned the Shrimp and Sausage over everything. In Orlando, the cook used mustard greens instead of spinach, which was delicious. So, you could do that, too. I guess this is sort of a fusion of Italian and southern cuisine, which just happens to be my heritage.

This is really easy to make and so very yummy. You can have a restaurant quality meal on the table in around 30 minutes.

Shrimp and Sausage

Servings: 6-8
Time:    Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 20 Minutes
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large heavy-bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a slotted spoon, a large bowl, a small bowl, a fork, tongs, and a whisk

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1-pound large shrimp (31-35 count) cleaned with tails removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bell pepper (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Salt
I like to use yellow, orange, and red baby bells for added color

  1.  Dice the garlic. Remove the seeds and white ribs from the pepper and dice it. Mince the oregano if using fresh. Remove the sausage from the casing. Measure everything else and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the skillet on medium.  Brown the sausage with the garlic and pepper. Cook and crumble until it’s no longer pink. Make sure to break up the sausage while it is cooking. This should take about 7 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to remove everything to the large bowl.
  3. Add the shrimp and oregano to the same skillet. Salt the shrimp. Sauté the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side or until just pink. Remove the shrimp to the bowl with the sausage.
  4. Mix the tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons cold water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
  5. Add the broth, tomato sauce and peanut butter to the skillet. Bring to a low boil while whisking. Stir in the cornstarch-y water. Whisk until the sauce thickens.
  6. Return everything to the skillet.  Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt.
  7.  Serve over grits or polenta.

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