In order to understand the above picture, you need to understand my family around Christmas time. We’re Jewish, with a Catholic dad. This means– thankfully–we are not subjected to the Chinese Food + TBS movie on Christmas Eve cliché, but we’re not exactly celebrating Jesus’ birthday either. So, naturally, we do as any other family in a similar situation does… put on a series of elaborate Christmas dinners, where the five of us take an imaginary adventure to some other time/place in bizarre costumes and toast to each other with bad accents, acting in line with offensive and/or inaccurate stereotypes. (Some gems from years past are below).
This year, I was passed the baton and was charged with taking my family on a culinary journey on Christmas Eve. Equipped with a sous-chef (my little brother), I, Frau Lulu, countess of a small Swiss village, served my esteemed guests an elaborate four-course meal in my modest country home. First on the menu, presented above ever so elegantly by one of my guests, the internationally recognized singer-model Ze Frau Emilie, was the amuse-bouche: polenta discs with garlic shrimp, marinara sauce and goat cheese.
Serves about 14 discs, 2-3 per person
- 1 tube pre-cooked polenta (in the pasta aisle)
- 12 shrimp, raw, de-shelled and de-veined
- marinara sauce, preferably homemade
- goat cheese
- Italian seasoning
1) slice the polenta into about 12-14 even slices. Season them each with S/P and Italian seasoning
2) heat a large skillet with olive oil to medium-high heat and saute the polenta. About 10 mins
3) While polenta cooks, heat another skillet. Mix shrimp with 2 T olive oil and 3 crushed garlic cloves in a small bowl. Season with S/P and place gently into skillet. Once the shrimp hit the pan, do not flip them for 2 minutes to ensure they get good color. Turn off heat once they are pink and seared.
4) Once the polenta are crispy, place them on a large ungreased cookie sheet. Place 1 shrimp on each polenta disc, then add 1 teaspoon of marinara. Crumble an ample amount of goat cheese on top of each disk.
5) place in the oven and broil for about 5 minutes. Watch constantly to make sure nothing burns.
6) wait about 5 minutes before transferring to a pretty plate. Serve and enjoy!
Here are some of those gems mentioned above: