Grilled Shrimp with Chive Polenta Cakes

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.

This simple, light dinner is easy to prepare, and much of it can be made ahead of time—making this a perfect dinner to serve guests you actually want to spend the evening chatting with. Polenta chive cakes can be made the day before, and the shrimp can be marinated and placed on skewers at that time, too. So all you've got to do on a Sunday evening is make a quick green salad and open a bottle (or two) of wine.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Boston where she completed her graduate work in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2009, after a Professional Chef diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Find more information at (or read

Grilled Shrimp with Chive Polenta Cakes

About This Recipe

Active time:15 minutes
Total time:3 hours 30 minutes
Special equipment:8x8 Pyrex dish, grill or grill-pan, soaked wood or metal skewers


  • Chive Polenta Cakes:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pyrex dish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • small bunch of chives
  • Shrimp Skewers:
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped


  1. 1

    Butter an 8x8 Pyrex dish. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cornmeal, and butter, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, over medium high heat. When mixture begins to simmer, add sugar, salt, and chives, and keep stirring until thick, about 15 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool and thicken until thick enough to slice, about 3 hours.

  2. 2

    Place shrimp, olive oil, big pinches of salt and pepper, oregano and basil in a large bowl and toss to combine. Thread onto skewers; place in the fridge until polenta has set.

  3. 3

    When polenta has set carefully un-mold polenta onto cutting board, and cut into 4 even pieces. Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat.

  4. 4

    Gently grill polenta slices until grill marks form, and polenta is heated though, about 8 minutes. Remove from grill and reserve. Grill shrimp skewers until shrimps are pink and beginning to char, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with a chilled rosé and some sliced scallions for garnish.


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