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Sometimes things just don't work out. Sometimes you know it from the get go. Such was the case when I attempted to make the Polenta Crusted Shrimp from Giada's Kitchen for IHCC's Kid at Heart Theme. Total catastrophe. And I had a feeling. I need to listen to my gut more.
This looks pretty good right? I thought so, so I went ahead and whipped up the polenta coating and cleaned my shrimp. Then I noticed a few things. The description calls them "fried shrimp," but the instructions tell you to bake them. Inconsistencies bug me, especially in cookbooks. The recipe also makes a ton of coating, way more than you'll need for the amount of shrimp. I hate being wasteful, so I sliced up a bunch of zucchini and battered them as well. I threw my shrimp and zucchini in to bake and 10 minutes later, nothing. I gave them a few more minutes, but still, nothing. No gorgeous golden brown crust. I had to let it go, lest I overcook the shrimp, so E and I went ahead and tried them. Gross. It was like biting into shrimp coated with dry sand. What this recipe needs is to stick to its guns and fry the shrimp already. A pan full of hot oil would have saved the day, turning this dry, tasteless crust into golden deliciousness. Sadly, it was too late for my shrimp.
It wasn't too late for the zucchini however. I decided to give the veggies a makeover. A little dressing up and a quick bake, and they became a delicious twist on Veggie Parmesan.
So even though this recipe sucked, dinner didn't have to.
Polenta Crusted Zucchini Parmesan
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1/2 c. polenta
1/4 c. flour
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
1 c. tomato sauce (jarred is fine)
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up your polenta coating in 3 shallow dishes or pie plates: flour in one, egg in the second, polenta in the third. Whisk polenta with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge zucchini in flour, then egg, then polenta. Once all zucchini is coated, either bake on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes OR pan fry them in a little oil until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
Spoon a bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish. Add a layer of zucchini, top with mozzarella cheese and more sauce. Continue layering until you have used up all zucchini. Top with Parmesan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted.
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