Sautéed Shrimp With Polenta and Manchego Sauce

"Slightly smoky, subtly Spanish, simply sensational shrimp--a Whole Foods recipe. The elegant stacked presentation is so pretty. Smoked Spanish paprika adds subtle character to this dish and can be used in a host of other recipes such as beans, tacos and salad dressings. Chicken broth may be substituted for the vegetable broth. Serves 4"
photo by Sweet Ti photo by Sweet Ti
photo by Sweet Ti
photo by Papa D 1946-2012 photo by Papa D 1946-2012
photo by Vicki in CT photo by Vicki in CT
Ready In:
1hr 45mins




  • For the polenta, bring stock and milk to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and slowly add cornmeal to saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • If polenta becomes too thick, slowly add as much as 1 more cup of stock.
  • Stir in cheese and 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour polenta into a greased 8-inch square pan and set aside and let cool until firm, about 45 minutes.
  • For the shrimp, rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle shrimp with sea salt and paprika and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat.
  • Sauté garlic for about 30 seconds.
  • Add shrimp and sauté until opaque in center, about 2 minutes on each side.
  • Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • For the sauce, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, celery, salt, pepper, and paprika and cook until shallot is soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the other tablespoon of butter and melt into vegetables.
  • Whisk in flour.
  • Add broth a few tablespoons at a time, very slowly, whisking to combine.
  • When thickened, add cream a few tablespoons at a time, following the same procedure as with the broth. When thickened, whisk in the cheese, stirring until melted. Mix in lemon juice.
  • Invert baking dish to remove polenta from pan.
  • Cut polenta into four squares.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Sauté polenta in butter until warmed through and golden brown on both sides.
  • To assemble, place each polenta square on its own plate, stack shrimp on top of polenta and drizzle with sauce.
  • Garnish with paprika, if desired.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Sweet Ti
    One of the best Recipe's I've tried! This dish tasted like something I'd spend a lot of money on in a nice restaurant. I made a few changes...added mushrooms along with other veggies, didn't have vegetable broth so I used chicken, and I'm not a fan of shrimp so I did scallops. The sauce is absolutely amazing, but it's not something you can just whip up in a few takes time.
  2. Papa D 1946-2012
    Having never tasted polenta or manchego cheese I wasn't sure how I would like this but WOW what a delicious rich meal this was. This is definitely a top shelf recipe. Wonderful rich flavor. A little labor intensive but well worth it. Thanks for posting such a fabulous recipe. This will be made again. Made for the August's Tag Game ~ El Queso ~ Spanish Cheese
  3. Kay in Corinth
    Wow, this was sooooooo good! Very rich and elegant. I would serve this for say Valentines Day or some other special occasion. I made this for my DH he loved it as much as I dd! I would serve this with a green salad. It was so good, if you need some comfort food this is your dish.
  4. L DJ3309
    Was looking for a recipe for scallops, saw this recipe, think the polenta caught my eye. Anyways I had scallops, the recipe looked good, so I made it with scallops. Added a little jar of chopped pimiento. Turned out delicious. Will try it with shrimp sometime soon. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Vicki in CT
    This was excellent, and I think the best recipe to date that I have tried from Recipezaar. I needed the full amount of stock. Also, didn't have celery so used some celery seed instead. Absolutely awesome and pretty as well. Will definitely make again. Thank you Kate for a great recipe. Vicki


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