Our family loves hearty soups and chowders in the Fall. Belly warming one-pot meals are my jam, if y’all haven’t quite noticed. So, I was hoping to make a yummy shrimp and corn chowder, but realized we had no corn. No canned corn… frozen corn… fresh corn on the cob… NADA! And I already had the shrimp thawing out and all the other ingredients ready to go. As I was looking through the cabinet I saw we did have a tube of Trader Joe’s organic polenta. HALLELUJAH!!! So I racked my brain and thought, “well, shrimp and grits work… why not turn that into a chowder?” So I did.
Here’s my recipe for Shrimp and Grits Chowder
1 lb. uncooked shrimp
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 carton vegetable broth
1 package polenta (18 oz.)
1 large carrot diced
3 medium red potatoes diced
1 large garlic clove minced
1/2 lb cooked bacon
3 green onion stalks (chop onion and chives – set chives aside)
Creole seasoning – if you don’t have any you can make your own mix:
•2 1/2 tablespoons paprika.
•2 tablespoons salt.
•2 tablespoons garlic powder.
•1 tablespoon black pepper.
•1 tablespoon onion powder.
•1 tablespoon cayenne pepper.
•1 tablespoon dried oregano.
•1 tablespoon dried thyme.
In large pot, add half of the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add polenta and whisk until creamy, approximately 15min. Pour into heat safe bowl and set aside.
Return pot to stove and add olive oil and minced garlic. Heat until lightly golden over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, potatoes and the rest of the vegetable broth and cook until vegetables are soft.
Return cooked polenta to pot. Add in heavy whipping cream. Stir in shrimp and season with creole mix, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until shrimp are opaque, approximately 7 minutes.
Top with chives and chopped bacon and serve.