Shrimp marinated in a citrus, garlic, and achiote oil mixture, sit atop queso fresco and green chile polenta, and get topped with luscious roasted salsa verde, a dab of red chile purée, and fresh cilantro... Green Chile Polenta With Citrus Shrimp is an elegant and flavor-packed dish perfect for a special occasion!
While this can be a weeknight meal - if you have made the polenta and roasted salsa verde ahead - it probably is best reserved for a special weekend meal. However, I always expect to make a blog recipe several times, so the pan of polenta and batch of roasted salsa verde made the first time were sufficient for 2 additional meals.
With the more time-consuming components of the dish out of the way, it comes together rather quickly. Polenta is awesome on the grill, but it requires thorough chilling prior to cutting it into squares for grilling. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days, so I always make the polenta in advance.
My Roasted Salsa Verde will keep at least that long (but I bet it won't last that long 😉 ).
The shrimp needs only about 30 minutes in the marinade; while it marinates, I make a salad and salad dressing. I highly recommend pairing Grilled Green Chile Polenta And Citrus Shrimp with a mango and avocado salad dressed with a citrus and red chile vinaigrette.
Making Grilled Green Chile Polenta and Citrus Shrimp
To bring this dish together, cut your 9 x 9 pan of thoroughly chilled polenta into 9 squares, and lift them carefully to a plate with a small spatula. Remove the shrimp from the marinade with a slotted spoon. Warm the Roasted Salsa Verde (cold salsa on this dish no es bueno!).
While your household grill master grills the polenta (my husband in our case), dress the salad and pour your favorite drink. The polenta takes about 12-15 minutes to grill, but the shrimp only need 3-5 minutes over direct high heat. Don't overcook the shrimp! If you cook them until they're completely opaque, they'll be overcooked as they continue to cook after removed from the heat.
Place a square of grilled polenta on a small plate, top with one-fourth of the grilled shrimp and a generous spoonful of the Roasted Salsa Verde, squeeze a nickel-sized dab of red chile purée, and garnish with chopped cilantro. Perfecto!
I like a cook who smiles out loud when he tastes his own work.
Let God worry about your modesty; I want to see your enthusiasm.
~~ Robert Farrar Capon, American Episcopal priest, author, and chef
I definitely smiled "out loud" with the first bite! The spicy Mexican flavors just danced on my tongue.
We loved a Green Flash Treasure Chest with this dish! This beer is a special-release IPA infused with grapefruit, hibiscus, and prickly pear. It was an amazing pairing, and raising a glass of this beer benefits cancer research. I highly recommend this beer, but it would be lovely with any citrusy, well-balanced IPA or saison. If you have beer and wine pairings that you love, please send them my way via a comment here or my "Contact Me" page. I love to suggest pairings, but I have limited opportunities to try different pairings!