Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp over Parmesan Polenta

Ingredients: Bacon, shrimp, polenta, parmesan

The second recipe in the 5-ingredient series features baked shrimp wrapped ceremoniously in thin strips of bacon, served over fluffy polenta. As I headed to the Marché Raspail this morning to buy my shrimp, I couldn't help but smile at all of the men and women picking over vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts, and bread before them.  The food market is almost like a theater, and the customers certainly know how to play their part: "no, I don't want that comte cheese in the back - how dare you assume? Give me this piece in the front."  "Tell me about this lamb - how shall I cook it? What sides will I make with it?  Oh forget it I don't want it anymore, what about this duck here?"  I provided my seafood vendor with an easy request: "5 crevettes s'il vous plaît, les plus grandes que vous avez."  I won't lie, I still get excited every time I successfully order an item from the market.  So he handed me five shiny shrimp, and I walked away victorious from the lively bustle of inquisitive and hungry patrons.

I like this dish because it packs a lot of punch for so few ingredients.  Shrimp is also quite good for you, with high doses of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  Unfortunately, shrimp also comes with a hearty amount of cholesterol, so those with high-cholesterol levels should use caution when eating crustaceans such as shrimp and lobster. I mixed some parmesan into the polenta to add a sharp flavor, but it would hold up nicely if eaten plain with just a healthy dose of salt.  I believe any other kind of cheese, maybe chedder, gruyere, goat cheese, or feta, would also go nicely in this dish.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp over Parmesan Polenta - serves 1

5 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4-5 strips uncooked bacon
1/4-cup instant polenta
1 1/2 tablespoons grated parm

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1.  Wash and dry the shrimp.  Cut the bacon into two strips lengthwise and wrap around the shrimp.  Hold the bacon in place by piercing a toothpick through each shrimp. 
2.  Place shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until bacon is crisp, about 20 minutes
3.  Meanwhile, cook the polenta:  place 1 cup of water in a small saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. 
4.  Gradually whisk in polenta, and simmer over medium-low heat until very thick, about 10 minutes.
5.  Stir parmesan into polenta until combined; season to taste with salt and pepper. 
6.  Place polenta on a platem remove toothpicks from shrimp, and serve over polenta.

Tomorrow: bruschetta with goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette (still with 5 ingredients or less) - does this appeal to you? Would you rather me try to make something else?  Let me know!  Post a comment or email me:


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