Sunday, May 15, 2011

Smoked Paprika Shrimp with Poblano Polenta and Red Pepper Agave Sauce

I saw this recipe in a magazine a few years ago, and it was on a McCormick spice advertisment.  I don't usually try recipes in ads, but this one caught my eye, and I'm *so* glad it did.  It's delicious!

Prep Time: 45 minutes       Cook Time: 1 hr              Serves 4

Red Pepper-Agave Sauce:
1 T olive oil                                          
1/4 C chopped red onion
3 Ts agave nectar or honey
1 jar (12 to 13 ounces)  roasted red peppers, drained
½ C chicken stock                              
½ C heavy cream
1 T tomato paste
Poblano Polenta:
1 quart  (4 Cs)  milk                           
1 t Sicilian Sea Salt
1 C polenta (corn meal)                    
2 Ts butter
1 C shredded Manchego cheese      
1 C fresh/thawed corn 
1/4 C finely chopped roasted Poblano chile (See Test Kitchen Tip below)  or 1 T  chopped drained pickled jalapeño pepper
Smoked Paprika Shrimp:
1 pound large shrimp (21 to 25 count), peeled and deveined
2 Ts olive oil, divided                         
2 ts Smoked Paprika
1/2 t Sicilian Sea Salt                         
1/2 t Black Pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1.  For the Red Pepper-Agave Sauce, heat oil in small skillet on medium heat.  Add onion; cook & stir 2 minutes or until softened.  Add agave nectar; cook & stir 1 minute or until onion starts to caramelize.  Place roasted bell peppers, chicken stock, heavy cream, tomato paste & onion mixture in blender or food processor; cover.  Puree until smooth.  Spoon bell pepper mixture into medium saucepan.  Bring to boil on medium heat. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Keep warm.
2.  For the Poblano Polenta, bring milk & sea salt to simmer in heavy 2-quart saucepan on medium heat.  Whisking constantly, add polenta in thin stream.  Stirring frequently, cook 10 minute.  Reduce heat to low; cover & simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter, corn, cheese  & chile until well mixed.  Keep warm.
3.  For the Smoked Paprika Shrimp, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Sprinkle with smoked paprika, sea salt & pepper.  Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add shrimp; cook & stir 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
4.  To serve, spoon Poblano Polenta onto each plate.  Drizzle Red Pepper-Agave Sauce around polenta.  Arrange Smoked Paprika Shrimp on sauce.  Sprinkle with green onions.

Test Kitchen Tips: 
    * To roast the Poblano chile on a gas stove-top, cook the peppers directly over a medium-high gas flame until blackened on all sides, turning with tongs.  Transfer to a paper bag.  Close bag.  Let stand 15 minutes or until peppers are cool enough to handle.  Peel off blackened skin.  Remove tops, ribs & seeds.

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