Polenta Crusted Shrimp with a Warm Bistro Root Vegetable Salad

I love all of the cookbooks that I have and I also love combining recipes from different cookbooks to make a delicious dinner. These two recipes come from the wonderful cookbooks "Giada's Kitchen" and "Fast, Fresh and Green." The salad and shrimp go together perfectly and the honey mustard sauce (not pictured) that goes along with the shrimp compliments the dijon dressing that coats the salad.

The polenta coated shrimp are extremely healthy because they are baked! You would never guess that these shrimp are baked because of how crispy they get in the oven. I enjoy the polenta coating more than a traditional breadcrumb coating because the polenta crisps up a lot more and the paprika incorporated into the coating adds great additional flavor.

This meal may have been one of my favorite dinners I made this year. I went back for seconds on the delicious and simple salad. The bacon that tops the salad is a must to take this salad over the top. You can replace regular bacon with turkey bacon, but I would recommend against it. You do not end up eating much bacon because it gets crushed on top of the salad, so just go for it with regular bacon. It is a little splurge that makes a big difference. Enjoy!

Polenta Crusted Shrimp:
(original recipe from: "Giada's Kitchen" cookbook)

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups fine polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 teaspoons paprika 
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup dijon mustard
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
5 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 475° and coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Set up a dredging station starting with the flour in a small bowl, then the eggs in a small bowl and finally the polenta mixed with the paprika in a bowl. Dredge the shrimp in the flour, then dip in the eggs and finally dip into the polenta to coat.
  3. Place the shrimp onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the dijon, yogurt and honey. Serve alongside the shrimp.
Warm Bistro Root Vegetable Salad:
(recipe slightly adapted from: "Fast, Fresh and Green" cookbook)

6 cups curly endive, chopped
6 pieces applewood smoked bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1 pound mixed peeled carrots and baby potatoes, diced
2 shallots, peeled and cut into thick slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 475° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the shallots, baby potatoes, carrots, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Spread them out onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once crisp, remove the bacon from the pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and then add in 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar  and the dijon. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add the endive to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the warm vinaigrette from the skillet to the endive and toss to combine. Add the roasted vegetables to the salad and toss again. Transfer to individual serving plates and top with the crisp bacon.


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