Let me just say, right off the bat, that this was an experiment based on a popular Southern dish, shrimp & cheese grits. Next time I’ll add a green vegetable on the side for color, and perhaps substitute chicken breast meat for the chicken Italian sausage, because the strong fennel taste of the sausage fought with the taste of the Sriracha sauce. It will still be a robust and somewhat fiery dinner, only with fewer competing flavors.
2-3 links chicken Italian sausage, sliced
2 doz large (21-25 count) cooked & peeled shrimp
2 doz pearl onions, peeled
1 cup yellow polenta meal
4 cups water
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup flour
2 cups white wine or chicken broth
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
First, bring water to boil in a sauce pot, adding a little salt. Slowly pour in the polenta meal, stir thoroughly, and reduce heat to low. Periodically stir the polenta as it cooks. It will probably take at least half an hour. If it gets too thick, add more water … it should come out slightly less runny than grits.
While the polenta is cooking, make a roux by heating a little cooking oil in a shallow frying pan and whisking in the flour. Keep whisking it as it cooks and thickens, then slowly add wine (or chicken broth if desired) to make a nice smooth base for the sauce. Keep this on low, whisking occasionally.
Cook your chicken Italian sausage in another frying pan. When the sausage is done, add the shrimp and pearl onions and cook on low a few more minutes.
Add the Sriracha sauce and Old Bay seasoning to the roux and whisk again until blended and smooth. Add the shredded cheddar to the polenta and stir it in well so that it melts inside the polenta … you’re going for something like cheese grits, only better.
Spoon the polenta onto a plate. Spoon a little Sriracha sauce over the polenta, then top with sausage and shrimp. Spoon some Sriracha sauce onto the empty part of the plate, then top with pearl onions, as shown.