Shrimp Ragout with Mushroom Polenta


Shrimp Ragout and Mushroom Polenta

This recipe is akin to shrimp and grits. I call it ragout because it has more sauce and more veg than a typical shrimp and grits. I used polenta rather than grits, but they are very similar. Polenta is faster!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword mushrooms, polenta, shrimp
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author misangela


Shrimp Ragout

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled/deveined pat dry, dust with smoked paprika (or ancho powder, or even Old Bay) and set aside
  • olive oil
  • 1 white part of leek, halved, cleaned and sliced thinly optional but recommended
  • 1 small zucchini, small dice about a cup, sub yellow squash or omit
  • 1 small red pepper, small dice or 2-3 minis, green pepper is fine
  • 1/2 cup red onion, small dice any onion is fine
  • 1/2 8oz pkg cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced any kind of shroom is fine
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved sub 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, canned is fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest do try to use a fresh lemon, if you use jarred lemon juice, omit zest
  • 1 tsp dried basil if you use fresh: 1 Tbl at the end of the cook
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram sub 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry sub 1/4 c cooking sherry (it has salt in it)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (8oz) sub 2 Tbl tom paste w/ 1/2 cup water
  • S/P to taste
  • 1 fresh lemon use juice juice to finish after cooking
  • fresh parsley, chopped garnish
  • shredded parmesan or asiago garnish

Mushroom Polenta

  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 8 oz pkg creminis, thinly sliced any kind of shroom is fine
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram sub dried basil or 1/2 tsp dried oregano; DRY ONLY for this
  • 1 tsp lemon zest from the fresh lemon; sub 1 tsp jarred lemon juice if you must and add LAST
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock or shrimp stock if you have it
  • 3/4 to 1 cup polenta (coarse corn meal) NOT corn meal MIX, straight corn meal
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan or asiago use up to half a cup to your taste
  • 1-2 Tbl heavy cream to finish optional, adds a nice creaminess


  • Put about 2 Tbl olive oil in a pan over med-hi flame.
  • Add in all the veg including garlic and begin to sweat. Turn down heat if browning occurs. 5-7 mins.
  • When veg gets soft, lemon zest, herbs, sherry and tomato sauce. Keep at low simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Add a bit of stock if it reduces and gets too tight.
  • Add shrimp, bring back up to simmer and cook shrimp until opaque, about 8 minutes. Add S/P to your taste, then kill the heat. Let rest.

Mushroom Polenta

  • In a 2 qt saucepan over med hi, add 2 Tbl olive oil, butter and garlic. Do not brown.
  • Add creminis, herb and lemon zest, cook shrooms until they release their juices, do not brown, just sweat. About 5-6 minutes.
  • Add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Whisk in polenta, a bit at a time to avoid lumps. You can make polenta very soft or firmer, adjust how much cornmeal you use to get the consistency you want. It WILL firm up when it cools, so I'd advise you to keep it pretty loose. Try about a cup of polenta, stir for 3-4 minutes and add more if you think it's too loose.
  • Still whisking, add in the parmesan. Add cream if desired. Adjust S/P.
  • Serve as pictured, with polenta on the bottom, ragout over that, fresh parsley and a bit of cheese on top. You can squeeze a little lemon over it if you want.


When reheating, you might need to add water to the polenta to get the right consistency again. It will tighten up when cooled. 
Fresh lemon is preferred for this recipe. The zest adds depth and the juice adds acidity that is needed. 
You can use other herbs if you like, but if I specify dried, that is the amount I'm using. In general, you use 2-3x  more fresh herbs than dried and you put in fresh herbs at the end of cooking.