quarter cup basil leaves
quarter cup cilantro leaves
six garlic cloves
two tablespoons chili garlic sauce
two tablespoons fish sauce
one teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
one teaspoon finely grated lime zest
two tablespoons honey
half cup olive oil
(This is a slightly modified version of a marinade recipe from the July issue of Food & Wine.)
Chop the basil, cilantro, garlic, fish sauce, and chili sauce well in a mini food processor. Then add the zests, oil, and honey. Blend until the marinade is emulsified well.
Put twenty cleaned shrimp in the marinade and refrigerate for about three hours.
two cups otto file (“eight row”) red corn meal
half cup diced carrot
half cup diced celery
half cup diced onion
six diced garlic cloves
salt and pepper
one cup white wine
two quarts water
two tablespoons butter
one cup grated pecorino di moliterno
Sautee the onions, carrots, and celery until carrots are almost soft. Then add the garlic and some fresh-ground black pepper and continue to sautee until the garlic is soft. All the sauteeing should be done on low, as you don’t want the vegetables to brown.
Deglaze with pisco and wine, turn up heat and reduce until alcohol is gone.
Pour the two quarts water into the pot, gradually stir in the corn meal to avoid clumping, bring to a boil, and then turn to a very low simmer and cover the pot. Cook for at least one and a half hours, stirring well every fifteen minutes or so to avoid burning/sticking on the bottom.
When the polenta is done (very creamy and tender, not grainy), turn off the heat, stir in the butter and cheese well to incorporate, cover, and allow to rest for about five minutes.
While the polenta is cooking, put the shrimp on pre-soaked skewers (so they don’t burn). Using two skewers makes it much easier to turn the shrimp on the grill.
Grill the shrimp on both sides until cooked.