Friday, May 6, 2011

Honeyed Prawns & Polenta - Bringing the South up North

We realized this week that it had been awhile since we really cooked a "real" meal ourselves, so when it came time to select a recipe I was at a loss.  However, when we were in Savannah we became obsessed with the delicious honey from the Savannah Bee Company so of course we bought some souvenirs.  This was as good a place as any for some inspiration.

Nick, being the chef that he is, went in search of a recipe that would actually utilize the amazing honey we brought home.  After a bit of searching, he found a promising recipe on Epicurious for honeyed prawns and polenta - how could you go wrong?

The Necessities....

For the Prawn Marinade:
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • 1 pound large, peeled, and deveined prawns
For the Polenta:
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  For the Topping

  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Hot sauce (optional)
To begin, Nick cleaned and prepped the shrimp.  Whole Foods didn't have any prawns that day (or any really large shrimp, for that matter) so regular shrimp would have to do.

Moving onto the marinade Nick combined the tomato paste, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, hot sauce, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.

When Nick was looking at the reviews of the recipe many of them suggested upping the amount of hot sauce.  Rather than do that, we took out the big guns and used sriracha. 

Marinated Shrimp
Once it was all mixed, Nick tossed the shrimp in the marinade and set it aside. In the meantime, he cooked the polenta according to the box instructions.

In another large bowl, Nick mixed up the corn kernels, currants, honey, butter and thyme.  Actually, rather than currants, we decided to go with regular raisins, since we always have those around for snacking.

Polenta Mixture
When the polenta was done cooking on the stove, Nick stirred it into the corn mixture.

mmm, good!
The recipe calls for the polenta to then be put in a buttered baking dish and baked, but we decided to just eat it as is - nice and creamy, and sort of like a shrimp and grits dish.

Nick then took the prawns and spread them out on a baking sheet and popped them in the hot oven.

Cooked Shrimp!
The pan came out after 5 minutes so that each shrimp could be flipped, and they then went back in for another 5 minutes until pink and firm.

All the pieces were now ready!  Nick put a scoop of the polenta on the bottom of the dish, followed by some shrimp, and then topped the dish off with crumbled feta and fresh parsley.  The recipe also called for capers at the end, but full disclosure: Nick completely forgot that step.

Ta Da!
This dish was delicious, and is one of the first things we have made in awhile that we truly cannot wait to make again!  The honey flavors really came through with the shrimp without being too sweet and actually worked really well with the sriracha, which added such a great spice and heat to each bite.  I would highly recommend this dish to anyone!  Another great edition of Nick Cooks!


  1. go Nick! this looks amazing, dont you just love getting recipe inspiration from vacation?!

  2. I LOVE Savannah Bee Co honey! I discovered their winter white honey two winters ago and it is the most amazing honey ever.


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