It may look like an elaborate dish, but this upscale shrimp and grits appetizer is actually quite simple, thanks to our Roasted Sweet Pepper Polenta and Seafood Spice Blend. To simplify it even more, use jarred roasted red bell peppers in the sauce instead of roasting the peppers yourself.

Prep time: 60 min

Cook time: 120 min

Total time: 180 min

Shrimp Polenta Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 16 appetizer servings


  1. Place shrimp in bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with Seafood Spice Blend. Toss to coat, cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  2. Bring water to a boil in large saucepan. Very slowly pour in polenta, reduce heat to simmer and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes, until very thick.

  3. Pour polenta into greased 8-inch by 8-inch nonstick baking pan, smooth top with rubber spatula, and let cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill for at least 1 hour.

  4. Preheat broiler to high, and position rack in center of oven. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  5. Cut each pepper into 3 equal pieces, and place, skin side up, on baking sheet. Brush skins with 1 tablespoon oil, and place in broiler. Broil until skins are well-blackened, rotating if necessary. Remove from oven, transfer to medium mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam 15 minutes.

  6. Remove skin from peppers and transfer to blender, along with garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Purée until smooth, and season to taste with salt. Set aside until ready to serve.

  7. Turn out chilled polenta sheet onto cutting board, and cut into 16 squares, 2-inches wide. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add polenta squares in batches and cook until golden-brown on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

  8. Wipe out pan, and return to medium-high heat. Add shrimp in batches, and cook until done, about 2 minutes per side.

  9. To assemble, spoon about 1 tablespoon coulis onto each plate. Place polenta cake on top, and top with two shrimp. Garnish with chopped parsley.