Spicy Shrimp and Shiitake Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta


Hey there! How are you all doing? It’s been a little over a week since my last recipe post. I don’t usually like to go longer than a week but things are pretty busy over here right now. I think we may be in a constant state of busy for a while. It’s all wonderful things, fortunately, including one of my son’s birthdays. Jarrett turned 5 years old this past Monday and we celebrated all weekend. Lots of baking involved. He absolutely loves sports so I made this football cake for him. It was a winner! My son, Jeremy has his 8th birthday next week. I’ll be sure to let you know what we come up with for that one.


Other than that, I’ve been working at Bon Appétit and even did a little recipe development for my amazing mentor, Ellie Krieger, last week. She is working on a new cookbook and I was thrilled to get the chance to work with her! It’s incredible to see the amount of effort that goes into writing a cookbook. Ellie does so much more than provide recipes. She looks at them with her nutritionist hat on and gives valuable, practical information relating to those recipes for her readers. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

This Spicy Shrimp recipe was the direct result of some leftovers in the Bon Appétit test kitchen last week. When we test recipes for the magazine and website, our measurements have to be precise. I was working on one which called for one pound of shrimp and Fresh Direct sent over 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp. I used the amount I needed for the recipe and then played with the remainder and set it on the counter for everyone to taste. That was after I snapped a couple of pictures, of course, and then decided to share the recipe here since it was so yummy! Even though I used 1/2 pound of shrimp when I originally cooked it, I’m doubling the recipe for you so you can use it to serve four.

If you are interested in the birthday cake recipe, I have one here. However, in the near future, Bon Appétit will be publishing a new one, along with 5 other new gluten-free dessert recipes I developed, on their website and I will definitely let you know as soon they are up! In the meantime, enjoy this healthy main dish and I’ll be back with a new recipe soon!

Spicy Shrimp and Shiitake Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

Spicy Shrimp and Shiitake Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup cornmeal, preferably medium grind
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about ½ cup)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2" piece of lemon grass stalk, tough outer edges removed and smashed with knife to release flavor
  • 8 oz shiitaki mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 scallions, sliced thinly, white and light green divided from dark green
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb large shrimp, tail off, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock in a medium saucepan to boiling. Gradually whisk in cornmeal and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmering and whisk often, for about 15-20 minutes, until thickened and tender.
  2. While polenta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemongrass, mushrooms, white and light green parts of scallions and sliced fresno chili. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, tossing occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes, or vegetables are browning at edges. Add remaining Tbsp olive oil, shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper and toss occasionally, until shrimp is pink and just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes more. Discard lemongrass, dress shrimp with fresh lemon juice and additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Remove polenta from fire and stir in grated cheese and sliced dark green part of scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve shrimp in bowls over creamy polenta.

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