Confetti Shrimp with Greens and Grits

Select seasonings and peppers boost the taste of blackened shrimp with a beer citrus sauce. Serve with polenta and greens.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1 bundle dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale or black kale or other dark, leafy green, stemmed and shredded
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 small chili pepper, red Fresno or jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup drained sweet peppadew peppers (small pickled peppers), finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika (a scant palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (a scant palmful)
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 orange or lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup white or golden beer, such as Blue Moon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 2 tablespoons honey


In a saucepot, bring the water to a low boil.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add the kale and wilt; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Reduce the heat to low.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon EVOO in another skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook to tender crisp, 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt, pepper, paprika and coriander. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon EVOO to the skillet, half a turn, over high heat. Add the shrimp and toss for 3-4 minutes until firm and blackened at edges. Add the hot sauce, then douse the pan with orange juice and beer. Add the vegetables back to the pan, reduce the heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Keep warm and bubbling over low heat.

Add the milk to the saucepot with the water and raise the heat. Whisk in the polenta until it thickens, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the honey and melt in the remaining tablespoon of butter.

Serve the polenta in shallow bowls and top with some greens and a pile of confetti shrimp.

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