How to Make Parmesan Polenta with Capers, Garlic and Shrimp

Updated on March 18, 2016
Parmesan polenta with garlic, capers and shrimp paired with a warm kale salad.
Parmesan polenta with garlic, capers and shrimp paired with a warm kale salad. | Source
3.8 stars from 8 ratings of Parmesan Polenta with Garlic, Capers and Shrimp!

I visited Savannah, Georgia a couple of years ago and stopped into a restaurant on the Savannah River that had shrimp and grits on the menu. I have eaten at least a thousand pounds of shrimp over my lifetime and had eaten grits but had never considered combining the two together. It was delicious. As you may have guessed from what I just told you, I'm from the northern part of the country.

After a recent craving for shrimp and grits and my unsuccessful attempt at acquiring grits that weren't instant, I decided to switch it over to polenta. In my opinion, polenta and grits are not the same but the two might be interchangeable with each other depending on your taste. I personally don't mind but if I had access to real grits instead of the instant variety, my opinion may be different.

This recipe is the result of my craving for something that I ate on a beautiful starry evening beside the Savannah River. It's not the same but it did the trick for quelling my craving for something different. The capers and garlic are a lovely combination of two of my favorite flavors. Paired with the creaminess of the polenta with an overtone of parmesan, it is a dish that I will be making again very soon.

I paired this with my quick warm kale salad and the two complimented each other perfectly. The crunchiness of the salad was a very nice compliment to the creaminess of the polenta. This is a great dinner for any time of the year and if you can enjoy it with a river side view, I highly recommend it.

How Long Does it Take?

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 4 servings

The Ingredients to Make Creamy Polenta with Garlic, Capers and Shrimp

Source

Ingredient List

  • 1 cup cornmeal, for polenta, the fresher the cornmeal the better
  • 4 cups chicken broth, for polenta
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, for polenta
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, for polenta, please do not use the powder canned stuff, it is not the same!
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, shelled, cleaned with tail removed
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, I used purple basil from last year's garden
  • 1 Tablespoon basil, I used purple basil from last year's garden
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to your liking

How to Make Parmesan Polenta in Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pour the broth into a saucepan (I used a 5qt. pan) and add 1 tablespoon of butter.Bring the broth to a boil.  Wisk the broth as you SLOWLY pour the cornmeal into the broth in a steady stream.  You do not want to add all of the cornmeal at once because if you do, you will end up with lumpy polenta.Once all of the cornmeal is whisked in, continue to stir the polenta for a few minutes, it will start to thicken.After a few minutes the polenta will thicken and start to have slow rising and popping bubbles on the top.Put the lid on the pan and allow the polenta to cook for approximately 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  You will want to switch from the whisk to a spoon at this point.This is what it looks like as it is cooking between stirring.Your polenta will be done when it is thick, creamy and not gritty anymore.  Add the cheese to the finished polenta.Stir in the parmesan cheese so it will melt.  At this point, the polenta is finished and you can set it aside.  Keep the lid on the pot and it will not get cold for a while.
Pour the broth into a saucepan (I used a 5qt. pan) and add 1 tablespoon of butter.
Pour the broth into a saucepan (I used a 5qt. pan) and add 1 tablespoon of butter. | Source
Bring the broth to a boil.  Wisk the broth as you SLOWLY pour the cornmeal into the broth in a steady stream.  You do not want to add all of the cornmeal at once because if you do, you will end up with lumpy polenta.
Bring the broth to a boil. Wisk the broth as you SLOWLY pour the cornmeal into the broth in a steady stream. You do not want to add all of the cornmeal at once because if you do, you will end up with lumpy polenta. | Source
Once all of the cornmeal is whisked in, continue to stir the polenta for a few minutes, it will start to thicken.
Once all of the cornmeal is whisked in, continue to stir the polenta for a few minutes, it will start to thicken. | Source
After a few minutes the polenta will thicken and start to have slow rising and popping bubbles on the top.
After a few minutes the polenta will thicken and start to have slow rising and popping bubbles on the top. | Source
Put the lid on the pan and allow the polenta to cook for approximately 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  You will want to switch from the whisk to a spoon at this point.
Put the lid on the pan and allow the polenta to cook for approximately 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. You will want to switch from the whisk to a spoon at this point. | Source
This is what it looks like as it is cooking between stirring.
This is what it looks like as it is cooking between stirring. | Source
Your polenta will be done when it is thick, creamy and not gritty anymore.
Your polenta will be done when it is thick, creamy and not gritty anymore. | Source
Add the cheese to the finished polenta.
Add the cheese to the finished polenta. | Source
Stir in the parmesan cheese so it will melt.  At this point, the polenta is finished and you can set it aside.  Keep the lid on the pot and it will not get cold for a while.
Stir in the parmesan cheese so it will melt. At this point, the polenta is finished and you can set it aside. Keep the lid on the pot and it will not get cold for a while. | Source

What are Capers?

Interesting Facts about Capers

  • The caper bush is also sometimes called the Flinder's rose.
  • Capers are flower buds.
  • They are used in culinary dishes after they have been pickled in a brine.
  • Capers are usually seen in Mediterrian cuisine.
  • Caper leaves are an alternative to animal rennet in cheese making.
  • They contain a high amount of Selenium which is believed to prevent some forms of cancer.

How to Make Parmesan Polenta with Garlic, Capers and Shrimp

  1. Make sure that you have chopped the garlic and shallot and cleaned your shrimp before you start making the polenta. I used a 5 quart pan to make my polenta. Pour the chicken broth into the pan and add 1 Tablespoon of butter.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Whisk the broth in a circular motion, following the outside of your pan with the whisk to create a whirlpool for 30 seconds. Slowly add the cornmeal in a steady stream. You do not want to add all of the cornmeal at once because if you do, your polenta will be lumpy instead of creamy.
  4. Once all of the cornmeal is whisked in you will want to turn the heat down to medium low and continue slowly stirring with the whisk until the polenta starts to thicken.
  5. Once the polenta has become thick, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on your pan.
  6. Cook the polenta for approximately 25 minutes. The cook time will depend on how coarsly ground your cornmeal is. You will want to switch from the whisk to a spoon and stir the polenta every five minutes.
  7. Once it has become creamy and not gritty to the taste, you will want to pour in the parmesan cheese. Stir the cheese in so it will melt. Your polenta is now finished so you can put the lid back on and turn the heat completely off. It will keep warm for quite a while.
  8. To make the garlic, capers and shrimp, you'll need a frying, saute or iron skillet. I used a 10" iron skillet to make mine. Put the 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in the pan.
  9. Turn the heat onto medium. Once the butter has melted, add the shallot and cook it for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften.
  10. Add the garlic to the pan and stir. I overcooked the garlic a bit in my photos, you really do not want to brown it, you just want to soften it and infuse the flavor into the butter and olive oil.
  11. The rest of the recipe will go really fast because shrimp only takes a couple of minutes to cook. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook it for approximately 1 minute. It will start to have a pink hue to it.
  12. Add the capers and the basil to the pan. Stir it for a couple of minutes until the shrimp is cooked. You'll know that your shrimp is done when it turns pink.
  13. Put a couple of spoonfulls of polenta on the plate and top it with the shrimp. The butter and olive oil containing the shallot, garlic, capers and basil is then spooned over the top of the shrimp and polenta to complete the dish.

How to Make Garlic, Capers and Shrimp in Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
On medium heat, put the butter and olive oil into the pan.Allow it to sit until the butter melts and the olive oil is hot.Add the shallot and cook it for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften.Add the garlic and cook it until it starts to soften.Add your prepared shrimp.Shrimp cooks quickly so you only want to cook it for about a minute.  Keep stirring it all around.Add the capers and basil.Stir the shrimp, garlic, shallot, capers and basil around in the olive oil and butter until the shrimp has turned pink, which means it is cooked.Put a few spoons full of polenta on your plate and place the shrimp on top.  Spoon the olive oil, butter, shallot, garlic, caper and basil over the top of the shrimp and polenta.  This dish is finished!
On medium heat, put the butter and olive oil into the pan.
On medium heat, put the butter and olive oil into the pan. | Source
Allow it to sit until the butter melts and the olive oil is hot.
Allow it to sit until the butter melts and the olive oil is hot. | Source
Add the shallot and cook it for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften.
Add the shallot and cook it for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. | Source
Add the garlic and cook it until it starts to soften.
Add the garlic and cook it until it starts to soften. | Source
Add your prepared shrimp.
Add your prepared shrimp. | Source
Shrimp cooks quickly so you only want to cook it for about a minute.  Keep stirring it all around.
Shrimp cooks quickly so you only want to cook it for about a minute. Keep stirring it all around. | Source
Add the capers and basil.
Add the capers and basil. | Source
Stir the shrimp, garlic, shallot, capers and basil around in the olive oil and butter until the shrimp has turned pink, which means it is cooked.
Stir the shrimp, garlic, shallot, capers and basil around in the olive oil and butter until the shrimp has turned pink, which means it is cooked. | Source
Put a few spoons full of polenta on your plate and place the shrimp on top.  Spoon the olive oil, butter, shallot, garlic, caper and basil over the top of the shrimp and polenta.  This dish is finished!
Put a few spoons full of polenta on your plate and place the shrimp on top. Spoon the olive oil, butter, shallot, garlic, caper and basil over the top of the shrimp and polenta. This dish is finished! | Source

The End Result...

Heaven on a plate.
Heaven on a plate. | Source

Nutritional Information for Parmesan Polenta with Garlic, Capers and Shrimp

Nutrition Facts
Calories 473
Calories from Fat207
% Daily Value *
Fat 23 g35%
Saturated fat 8 g40%
Unsaturated fat 13 g
Carbohydrates 29 g10%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 34 g68%
Cholesterol 253 mg84%
Sodium 553 mg23%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • astevn816 profile image

        Wayne 

        3 years ago from Gainesville , Florida

        Congrats on HOTD, I can't wait to try this recipe, it looks wonderful. Your picture show the recipe steps very well

      • profile image

        DebMartin 

        3 years ago

        Yum, yum. I love polenta and, in my humble northern opinion, I think you've made a better substitute for grits. And capers! Love it!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Congratulations for HOTD!

        This recipe sounds really delicious and you presented this very well.

        Thanks for sharing the detailed instructions and helpful pictures.

        Voted up!

      • AuniceReed profile image

        Aunice Yvonne Reed 

        3 years ago from Southern California

        Looks like a delicious dish! Yummy! I eat kosher, so don't eat shrimp but might try it with fish. Oh yeah, congrats on Hub of the Day:)

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 

        3 years ago from Arkansas USA

        I've never made polenta and probably haven't even tasted it, and the same is true with capers. Now you have me craving both with your descriptions and wonderful-sounding recipe. Must try this soon! Congratulations on well-deserved Hub of the Day honors!

      • csmiravite-blogs profile image

        Consolacion Miravite 

        3 years ago from Philippines

        Awesome! The pics are nice, and it made me hungry just looking at it. Shrimps are always delicious, especially if bought fresh. Cooking it with parmesan and garlic would surely add "oomph" to the recipe. Well written and a great hub! A thumbs up!

      • poetryman6969 profile image

        poetryman6969 

        3 years ago

        I don't care for shrimp but I would like to try Parmesan polenta.

      • ladyguitarpicker profile image

        stella vadakin 

        3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

        Hi, your photos look so good I am ready for lunch. I love the shrimp and would love to make this recipe.Best Wishes on HOTD.

      • ladyguitarpicker profile image

        stella vadakin 

        3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

        Hi, your photos make me want to try your recipe. The shrimp look delicious and I am ready for lunch. Thanks for your interesting hub and best wishes on HOTD.

      • mary615 profile image

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        Congrats on HOTD. Your dish looks SO good. I am an ole' Southern gal who grew up on grits, and still love them. I've never tried polenta, but now I just might.

        I'm very familiar with that area in Savannah down by the river. My daughter lives in Savannah, so we I visit her we always go to one of the many restaurants there.

        Voted this UP, etc.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Congrats on HOTD! I brought polenta last month and have been dying to try it this year. I might give this a go this spring, if it's not too cumbersome for me. Voted up for useful!

      • eilval profile image

        Eileen 

        3 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

        Thank you for the step-by -step instructions . Congrats on HOTD !

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        3 years ago from Germany

        Congratulations on the HOTD award. Reading and seeing how you did it in your step by step instructions made me hungry. Yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

      • Besarien profile image

        Besarien 

        3 years ago

        Hi Helena! Congratulations on HotD!

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        i like your step by step photos, very easy to follow and the instructions are clear. Thank

      • Helena Ricketts profile imageAUTHOR

        Helena Ricketts 

        3 years ago from Indiana

        It's easier than what it sounds. The hardest parts are when you stir the cornmeal in, to KEEP stirring so it doesn't get lumpy and not overcooking the shrimp. It only takes a minute or two depending on the size of the shrimp you use. When you do try it, please come back and let me know what you thought!

      • routestocking profile image

        Anthony 

        3 years ago from United State

        Hi im no chef but I'm going to give this a shot hope it turns out good, thanks im going to follow what you did.

      • Besarien profile image

        Besarien 

        3 years ago

        This sounds like heaven on a plate to me. No one else at my house seems to think that way. My son and husband are both low fat, high protein people. My son won't eat carbs that he can avoid. Next time I know that I will be on all my own, this is what I'm having for dinner!

      • Randomovic profile image

        Randomovic 

        3 years ago from Egypt

        wow i'm a big fan of shrimps and garlic . i'm so trying this one. thanks.

      • Helena Ricketts profile imageAUTHOR

        Helena Ricketts 

        3 years ago from Indiana

        @Hezekiah- Thank you! If you make it, please come back and let me know what you thought. :)

      • Hezekiah profile image

        Hezekiah 

        3 years ago from Japan

        This looks delicious thank you for sharing. Another recipe to try.

      • Helena Ricketts profile imageAUTHOR

        Helena Ricketts 

        3 years ago from Indiana

        Thank you so much!

      • Jojo Yousef profile image

        Jomana H 

        3 years ago

        Delicious recipe, Thank you

      • Helena Ricketts profile imageAUTHOR

        Helena Ricketts 

        3 years ago from Indiana

        Thank you @Racle L Alba! You are right, there are so many ways to make polenta. I'd really be interested in trying that recipe if you post it. It's always wonderful to learn something new!

      • Rachel L Alba profile image

        Rachel L Alba 

        3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

        Hi Helena. I grew up eating polenta that my Nona made. It was quite different, the way she made it. But there are other ways of making it and yours looks so good, I love it just looking at it. Maybe some day I'll feature my Nona's polenta in HP. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and awesome.

        Blessings to you.

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