Spicy Shrimp With Bacon Over Polenta

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  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 cup polenta (corn meal)
  • 3 cups water
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cook bacon strips for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet
  3. Remove from oven, pat with paper towel, roughly chop
  4. In a medium cooking pot over medium-high heat add olive oil, onion, and pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf and garlic and cook until translucent. Stir in the tomato paste and pour in diced tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered.
  5. Slowly stir polenta into salted, boiling water. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring in butter.
  6. Heat butter in a cast iron (or other, heavy -bottomed) skillet. Cook the shrimp on high until sizzling and pink, turning once, 3-4 minutes, depending on size. Season with a bit of salt.
  7. Plate with a scoop of soft polenta, a ladle of spicy sauce, 6 shrimp and crumbled bacon on top.