Sautéed Shrimp, White Cheddar Polenta, and Sweet Soy Agave Nectar

Adapted by
March 2011
Yield: 20 Servings


Sweet Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
10 red finger chilies, roughly chopped
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
⅛ tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Sweet Soy Agave Nectar
3 cups sweet garlic chili sauce
3 cups Kikkoman soy sauce
3 cups dark agave nectar
White Cheddar Polenta
1¼ quarts chicken stock
5 chicken stock quarts water
2½ quarts Homestead Gristmill stone-ground polenta
16 ounces unsalted butter, cubed
8 ounces bacon fat
2 cups grated Brazos Valley cheddar cheese
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Whole milk
Sautéed Shrimp
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil
½ cup minced garlic
½ cup minced shallots
Brown Bay U12 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
To Assemble and Serve
1 pound apple-smoked bacon, cooked and small chopped
Fresh scallions, chopped
Sweet agave nectar


For the Sweet Chili Sauce:

Put the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Sweat the garlic and finger chilies until soft. Deglaze with the rice wine vinegar and white vinegar. Add the sugar, water, and xanthan gum. Bring the mixture to a simmer, season with salt, and remove from heat when the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Put the hot liquid in a shallow steel pan and chill.

For the Sweet Soy Agave Nectar:

Combine the garlic chili sauce, soy sauce, and agave nectar in a bowl. Whisk until fully emulsified, put the sauce into squeeze bottles, and reserve.

For the White Cheddar Polenta:

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the water and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil over a high heat and slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often with a large wooden spoon, until the polenta thickens, about 25 minutes. Add the butter and bacon fat, and stir until melted. Add the white cheddar and stir well. Adjust seasoning, and keep hot, adding a little milk to loosen if necessary.

For the Sautéed Shrimp:

Combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, celery seeds, and salt. Toss the shrimp with the paprika mixture and olive oil to evenly coat. Add some more olive oil to a sauté pan, or plancha if cooking in bulk. Add the garlic and shallots and sweat until translucent, over a medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until evenly browned.

To Assemble and Serve:

Spoon warm White Cheddar Polenta into the center of a deep bowl. Top with 4 Sautéed Shrimp. Garnish with the bacon, Sweet Chili Sauce, scallions, and Sweet Soy Agave Nectar.