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Blackened Shrimp Bites

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Blackened Shrimp BitesShrimp & grits comes in many forms, and they are all good! This version starts with polenta squares dotted with fresh thyme and layers on sauteéd collard greens with blackened shrimp on top. Assembly IS required, but worth the effort because the combination of texture and flavor is outstanding. Just make sure you’re well ventilated for the smoke from blackening!

Blackened Shrimp Bites

Ingredients

    For the Polenta
  • 1 cup coarse corn meal
  • large pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • For the Collard Greens
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons safflower oil
  • 1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and cut into thin strips
  • splash of apple cider vinegar or white wine
  • salt & pepper
  • For the Shrimp
  • 1 pound large white gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2-4 tablespoons Cajun Black
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

    For the Polenta
  1. Prepare a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper lightly sprayed with oil.
  2. Combine the polenta and large pinch of salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Slowly add the milk and water, whisking away all lumps from the mix.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring nearly to a boil. Reduce the heat immediately and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more water if needed. At the end of the cooking time your polenta should be very thick, with the liquid cooked away.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the thyme leaves, salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the polenta onto the prepared sheet pan and spread evenly to 1/2" thickness. Brush lightly with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight, until the polenta is set.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Remove the polenta from the refrigerator and cut into 3 inch squares. Transfer the squares to a well oiled sheet pan and bake about 20 minutes until the edges are crispy but the centers are still soft.
  8. For the Collard Greens
  9. While the polenta is baking, cook the collard greens.
  10. Add the oil and shallots to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and fragrant. Next, add the collards, splash with white wine or vinegar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and soft, about another 5 minutes. Make sure the greens remain moist while they are cooking, if they begin to dry out- add a tablespoon of water to the pan.
  11. For the Shrimp
  12. When the polenta and collards are both ready, blacken the shrimp.
  13. Combine the Cajun Black and salt on a plate and add the shrimp one at a time, turning each one to coat both sides with spice.
  14. Lightly oil and preheat a cast iron griddle or skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke.
  15. Blacken the shrimp in batches of 4-6, depending on the size of your pan. Cook each batch about 3 minutes total, turning once and pressing them into the pan to get a nice crust.
  16. Arrange the warm polenta squares on a platter and top with a large pinch of greens and a blackened shrimp.

Notes

We served these bites as a part of an appetizer spread that also included cream cheese & Pickapeppa Sauce. It was a nice cooling contrast to the intnesity of the blackened shrimp. Enjoy!

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/blackened-shrimp-bites/

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