Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kid Food Fail

A quick note: The NEW poll is up and running for the Recipe Impossible Challenge by Joanne and MarxFoods. You may have clicked the button on my top right sidebar, but the poll was broken for a while so no votes were counted. It's all fixed, so you can use that button or click here. I'm getting my ass kicked, so if you love me, please pop over and vote for my Butternut Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Maple Brown Butter Icing!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

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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girlichef said...

Well that totally sucks...except for the eggplant save, that is! But yeah, they do look good :) to vote...

~Chris said...

I voted - bummer it wasn't working. Hopefully you'll have a chance to catch up! Good luck! :)

Kim said...

That's a real bummer about the shrimp. I've looked at that recipe a number of times and it always catches my eye, but it stinks that the coating was like dry sand - yuck! Good save on the zucchini. It looks like an excellent take veggie parmesan.

Off to vote! Good luck.

Pierce said...

Bummer! I will vote :-)

MM said...

I've thought about making this recipe too...for this exact theme in fact! We ate a lot of fried shrimp when I was growing up. And I have great memories of my mom standing at the stove frying them in her cast iron pot. I had high hopes for this recipe--for being a healthier version and all.

Sorry it was a flop, especially when working with a pricey ingredient like shrimp.

But a big yeah for you for pulling off dinner anyway!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

You're right it does look good, and you're right it probably would have been great fried. Shame it didn't work out baking them. I have baked things before with a polenta coating and they came out great, but they were things that needed a bit longer to cook than shrimp takes. Good save on the veg, though :-)

Debinhawaii said...

I almost made the shrimp for this week too but after reading your post I am happy I didn't. They do look good but texture is so important. At least you were able to turn the zucchini into something good. ;-)

Yvette said...

I hate it when something doesn't work out, and have to trow food away. Luckily you saved it with the zuchini.
I wil vote.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Sorry about the shrimp, I had that same problem with Rocco DiSpirito's book. But the zucchini was as great save!