Sunday, February 21, 2010

Polenta Crusted Shrimp with Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise

I am always looking for new shrimp dishes, and when I came across this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network, I thought it looked delicious. Besides, anytime you can get crispy shrimp by baking it in the oven, I think that is a good choice. This recipe uses a classic breading technique by first dipping the shrimp in flour, followed by an egg wash, then finally dipping the shrimp into the polenta. I used a medium coarse ground polenta, and I would recommend using a finer grind, or just plain cornmeal. The flavor was really good, but the coarse ground was a bit too "grainy". When I make this again, I will used a finer grain of cornmeal. In addition to the mustard and herb mayonnaise sauce, I also made some homemade cocktail sauce. I simply use three ingredients, ketchup, prepared horseradish, and lemon juice. It is really up to you how spicy you want it, I usually add a heaping tablespoon of horseradish, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to about a half cup of ketchup. Also, the mustard and herb mayonnaise makes a lot, so I just used it as a spread for some turkey sandwiches and for some tuna salad. It will keep in the fridge for quite a while.


Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise:

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Polenta Crusted Shrimp:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil (or non-stick cooking spray)
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling


To make the Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise:

In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, parsley, and chives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the Polenta Crusted Shrimp:

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F. Cover a heavy-duty baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the flour, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the beaten eggs into another small bowl. Mix together the polenta, paprika and thyme in a medium bowl. Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour. Shake off any excess flour. Dip the flour-dredged shrimp into the eggs and then coat with the polenta mixture. Drizzle the shrimp, on both sides, with the olive oil. Place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crisp and golden. Sprinkle with the kosher salt.

Serve immediately with the Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise and cocktail sauce, if desired

Thursday, February 4, 2010

CEiMB: Curried Chicken Salad

I am so excited because this is my week to select a recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly! The recipe I chose for my fellow bloggers and me to make is the Curried Chicken Salad from So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger. It's a very simple, but delicious salad consisting of chicken and grapes in a yogurt curry sauce.

First of all, I really love the flavor of curry powder, so I was sure that I would like this salad, but I was quite impressed how well the flavors were balanced. The warm spice of the curry balances well with the sweetness of the grapes and the bitterness of the cilantro, and the almonds added a nice crunch and contrast in texture. I actually mixed my sliced almonds into my salad instead of sprinkling them on top. Many chicken salads feel heavy and rich, but this was very light. The recipe doesn't make a lot of sauce, just enough to coat the chicken and grapes, so it doesn't weigh them down, and their flavors really come through. I served my salad on a bed of spinach sprinkled with lemon juice along with toasted whole-wheat pita chips.

The recipe on the Food Network website includes instructions for poaching chicken, so I have included the instructions for that as well in case you wish to cook your chicken that way.

I want to thank all of my fellow bloggers over at Craving Ellie in My Belly for participating with me! I really enjoyed this recipe, and I hope that they did too. Be sure to check out their blogs as well to see how they made their Curried Chicken Salad.

Curried Chicken Salad
Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds, poaching instructions below)
  • 1 cup halved red grapes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 ounces mixed greens (about 5 cups lightly packed)
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 4 ounces pita chips

  • For poaching the chicken: Bring the broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add chicken to broth and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. Turn the heat off and let chicken stand in the cooking liquid, covered, until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and cool completely in the refrigerator. Cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • Toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and beginning to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and curry powder. Fold in the chicken, grapes and cilantro and season to taste, with salt and pepper. This salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To serve, put a scoop of the chicken salad on a bed of greens and top with the toasted almonds. Add a lemon wedge to squeeze over the greens jut before eating. Serve with pita chips.

Serving size:
  • 1 cup chicken salad
  • 1 1/4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 ounce pita chips