The star of the evening at any cocktail party should always be the guests that you’ve invited, but the food should most certainly take a close second. Thanks to Giada De Laurentiis I have found a very dependable, for the most part healthy, and very much the crowd pleaser appetizer in my adapted version of her Polenta Crusted Shrimp with Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise.
A bit of protein, a delectable crunch and savory sauce as a complement, this is sure to be a hit at your next hostessing event. One of the things I appreciate about this recipe is that it’s not messy and allows your guests the ability to eat as gracefully as possible for an hor d’oeuvre that involves dipping.
The only change I have made to this recipe is switching the polenta with panko breadcrumbs. After attempting the original recipe, I found the polenta to be too coarse and immediately tried the panko on my next go round which added a much easier bite, but didn’t take away from the crunch. So if you are more inclined to work with polenta, simply swap out anywhere you see panko with the original ingredient. Either way the flavor is amazing!
Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise:
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Panko Crusted Shrimp:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt, for sprinkling
To make the Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise:
1. In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, tarragon, and chives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the Polenta Crusted Shrimp:
1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F. Cover a heavy-duty baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the flour, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Pour the beaten eggs into another small bowl. Mix together the panko, paprika and thyme in a medium bowl. Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour. Shake off any excess flour. Dip the flour-dredged shrimp into the eggs and then coat with the panko mixture.
3. Drizzle the shrimp, on both sides, with the olive oil. Place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crisp and golden. Sprinkle with the kosher salt.
Serve immediately with the Mustard and Herb Mayonnaise.