Man do people know how to cook in the south! Such a depth of flavors all coming together to create a wonderfully delicious and spicy concoction. When I think of southern cooking predominantly from Louisiana I think of Gumbo or shrimp and grits, the use of shrimp is very prevalent in creole cuisine. I mean how could it not with the warm waters of the Gulf right there!
I definitely broke out of my comfort zone with this recipe. I love, I mean LOVE spicy foods, but I have never experimented with Cajun spices before. I don’t know what took me so long to discover these amazing flavors!! If you like spice and heat you will love this recipe.
Shrimp is great, don’t get me wrong but if I eat seafood I would prefer crab legs hands down. Unfortunately, crab legs are not very budget friendly for just a typical Sunday dinner so shrimp it was!
Going back to my southern food research shrimp and grits is a main recipe in southern kitchens. I decided to put my own little spin on that tried and true southern favorite by using polenta which is cornmeal based as well and added some smoky flavor with the smoked gouda.
I was surprised at how easy and quick this recipe was, literally in 30 minutes it was ready. The spicy smoky flavors of this dish will definitely have you going back for seconds!
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Cloves garlic pressed through a garlic press
- 1/4 Cup hot sauce
- 1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 Cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons creole seasoning (you can find it in the spice aisle)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 Tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- salt to taste
- Chopped Cilantro (for garnish)
- 4 Ounces Smoked Gouda, Shredded
- 1 Tube of Polenta (18 ounces)
- ½ Cup Milk
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.
Add the Hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine, lemon juice, creole seasoning and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes.
While the sauce is reducing slice up the entire tube of polenta (minus the wrapper of course!) and place in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Using a mashed potato masher break up the polenta and add milk to create a more fluid consistency (resembling mashed potatoes or grits). Add the shredded smoked gouda until melted and incorporated.
Add the shrimp to reduced sauce and cook until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the chilled butter until it melts, season with salt to taste.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy with French bread to soak up all of that tasty sauce!
Shrimp portion adapted from Closet Cooking