For my weeknight cooking, I’m looking for great flavor and speed of preparation. So, instead of searching all over town for special chiles, then chopping and puréeing, trying not to get HOT! in my eyes, I pull sriracha from my fridge and make a cheater peri-peri sauce right in the pan. Peri-peri (also piri-piri) refers to a spicy sauce of Portuguese origin made from a blend of fresh bird’s eye chile peppers, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices.
Spicy Shrimp with Polenta
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dry polenta
- 2–4 tbsp olive oil and/or butter
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 2 cloves garlic, minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 green onions, chopped or ½ bunch chives
- 1 lemon, halved, divided
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- garnish: lemon juice, fresh parsley leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add salt and sprinkle in the polenta, stirring with a wooden spoon. Bring back to boil, lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes—lifting the lid every few minutes to give it a stir—until soft textured. Remove from heat, stir in olive oil and/or butter, cover and let sit while you cook the shrimp.
Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat for a couple minutes then add the shrimp and toss a couple times. Add the garlic (mashed with salt) and cook until the shrimp just begin to turn pink. Add the green onions or chives, juice from 1/2 lemon, and sriracha. Toss and cook a couple more minutes until shrimp are done—best not to overcook.
On a platter, layer the polenta, cooked shrimp and sauce, then spritz with remaining lemon half, sprinkle with the parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.