What are your first thoughts when you read the following?
“Polenta Cake and shrimp”
Crispy polenta cake, cajun style shrimp and a Manchego cheese sauce
Well, here is the picture:
If you are someone who likes seafood, specially shrimp, it’s very likely you will end up ordering this dish at Cueva Bar.
A couple of years ago we had a guest chef cooking with us at Cueva Bar, Chef Chad Kilgore. Chef Kilgore is one of my very good friends whom I’ve collaborated in more than one occasions is the one who introduced me to polenta cakes. The purpose of collaborating in the kitchen, as I see it, is to create greatness, and so we did during the dinner when I became inspired to create a polenta cake of my own. Chef Kilgore’s polenta cakes have a little firmer consistency than the ones we prepare at Cueva. After learning how my friend makes his recipe, I started experimenting in the kitchen until I came up with the grain/ water ratio I wanted to achieve a polenta cake that’s crispy on the outside, yet as soft as the softest cut of meat you’ll ever have.
I always like to share recipes with anyone who wants to give them a try. So this time, I will leave you with a recipe for our polenta cake. Once you’re happy with your results, the combinations are infinite! So get your apron on, wear your chef’s hat proudly and get cooking!
12 Cs water
4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3.5 Cs cornmeal
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
May add other spices depending on season.
1. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.
2. Add 4 teaspoons of salt, pepper and garlic and mix.
3. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
4. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 5-8 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted.
6. Spread evenly on a baking sheet size 9 1/2 X 13
7. Allow to cool
8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for about one hour.
10. Once polenta is firm, portion into 12.
11. In order to achieve an outside crispy texture, place in a convection oven, at 450F on high fan for about 6 minutes. If you don’t have a convection oven, a toaster oven or the broiling feature on a regular stove top oven will do the job. However, using non commercial equipment will change the dynamics of the heat and time. That is something you will need to figure out in order to achieve the consistency you like, but please, do contact me with any questions you have. Happy cookings!