Fresh White Corn Polenta with Pan Fried Shrimps and Roasted Vegetables

Fresh corn season is here and, once again, I’m using it in all kinds of dishes. One of my favorite and easiest recipes using fresh corn is to cook it “polenta” style. Unlike the time consuming traditional polenta, which is made with dried cornmeal, this quick cooking version is lighter and so perfect for summer.
It can be served on its own, or with vegetables, as a vegetarian dish. It is also wonderful when served as a side dish with fish, meat or chicken.
In the recipe here, I’ve used this fresh and creamy polenta as a bed for pan fried shrimps, inspired by the Southern dish “shrimp and grits” (recipe for which can be found HERE). Adding roasted vegetables on the side, created a light, yet very filling, summer dish. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* As I was using very fresh corn from the farm stand, it hardly required cooking. However, if your corn is not as fresh, add a few minutes to the cooking time.
* Unpeeled shrimps are more flavorful, but they also require some work when served. If your dinner is more official, consider using peeled ones instead.

Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Roasting time: 30 minutes
Cooking time for the corn/polenta: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
For the roasted vegetables:
About 20 cherry tomatoes, in different colors
About 10 mini peppers, in different colors, seeded and cut in half
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs olive oil
3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs
For the white corn polenta:
3 large very fresh white corn ears (see notes)
1/3 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground four pepper mix
1 Tbs butter
For the shrimps:
1 Tbs butter
10-12 large shrimps, deveined, unpeeled (see notes)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground four pepper mix

1. The roasted vegetables: preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and baking paper. Add the cherry tomatoes and peppers, season with salt, pepper and  olive oil, and place the rosemary sprigs on top. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and start to brown. Keep in a warm place.
2. The corn: place the ears in a wide pot and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature, in the covered pot. Drain and remove the kernels with a serrated knife. You should end up with about 2½ cups kernels.

3. The polenta: Place the cooked kernels in a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Process to a fine mixture. Transfer to a wide pot and add the half and half, salt, pepper and butter. Cook over medium-high heat, mixing occasionally, until the mixture is on the verge of boiling. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, mixing occasionally, for about 7 minutes, until most of the liquids evaporate. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

4. The shrimps: melt the butter in a frying pan, until it’s almost brown. Season the shrimps with salt and pepper and add to the pan, in one layer. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on both sides, until they change color and are opaque.

5. To assemble: divide the polenta between serving bowls. Top with the roasted vegetables and pan fried shrimps and serve immediately.

56 thoughts on “Fresh White Corn Polenta with Pan Fried Shrimps and Roasted Vegetables

  1. judilyn says:

    Fresh corn polenta – interesting. From the picture, it looks like creamed corn wherein the corn is just tiny pieces. Is it chewy? I use the dried polenta, but apparently don’t do it traditionally because it takes only about five to ten minutes start to finish. I’m trying to use my food processor more, and whizzing up corn kernels in there sounds like good fun! I’m up for anything! ;->

    Virtual hugs,
    
    Judie
    

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Creamed corn is different, as in most recipes the corn is only partially processed, if at all, then fairly large amounts of heavy cream and butter is added, along with some flour and, too often, sugar. The polenta I have here is much fresher and lighter. But of course this can be considered a version of creamed corn.
      As for Polenta, you’re probably using instant polenta, therefore the short cooking time. It’s not bad at all, but traditional polenta made from scratch is by far tastier, though it takes much longer to make…

      Liked by 1 person

      • judilyn says:

        I’ve been using Bob’s Red Mill polenta for over 20 years,

        https://www.vitacost.com/bobs-red-mill-organic-polenta-corn-grits

        but I don’t see anything that says “Instant” on it, but you are no doubt correct, as I have always read that Italian polenta takes forever, with much stirring and hot water additions.

        My method is to bring the water ALMOST to a boil, add the dry polenta, turn off the burner, and mash down on the gruel with a potato masher with holes (not those peculiar zig zag tines) to keep it from turning into glom. It sits there happily for as long as it takes me to finish the rest of Sunday breakfast. After it is thickened a bit, I put in a big slab of cheese on the top and let it melt, mixing it in just before serving. Today I added dehydrated chives and adobo seasoning to the water before tossing in the polenta. Dee-lish!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

          I like Bob’s flours, but never tried this type for making polenta, but am glad to hear it works for you. I do prefer Italian cornmeal for this, which takes about 40 minutes. I don’t mind using the instant one when I want to cut and grill it. I’m not that strict about it! :)

          Like

  2. chef mimi says:

    Love this dish. I first had shrimp and grits when we went to Charleston, and I was hooked on the combination. I’m not sure I’ve seen instant polenta either, but I know you can buy corn meal/grits/polenta in various grind sizes. I always get the coarse variety, but I’m not sure why!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Mimi, I’m glad you liked the dish. Shrimps and corn combination is really wonderful in any version.
      I prefer finer cornmeal for polenta, but of course it’s very individual. If you liked the coarse one so far, there’s no reason to change it. :)

      Like

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