Thursday, September 10, 2015

Macy's Great American Grilling Guru

I think my summer flew by quicker than I expected since I hit the ground running as soon as the last school bell rang! The very first day of summer I was on a 6 am flight to Nashville to compete in the Macy's Grilling Guru competition! 
My recipe for  Ancho Orange Grilled Shrimp over Mexican Street Corn Polenta with Poblano Relish and Cilantro Vinaigrette got me one of 6 spots to compete and it was so much fun!!
I met new friends, got to catch up with old ones and tour a city I really love!
Here are some of the highlights:
It was so exciting to walk up and see the stage the morning of the contest! Instant butterflies! It was also cool to hear that the grill tools box set was ours to keep!
Y'all it was SO HOT cooking on those grills in full sun in the afternoon, I really thought I was going to pass out a couple times, and I know a few of the other contestants were feeling sick from it as well. I was trying to stay calm and focus as best I could but I ended up burning my hand really badly about halfway through our time. Unfortunately that totally had me frazzled and I wasn't able to regroup like I wanted. I did the best I could though, and even though I didn't win the grand prize I feel like the finalist package was wonderful! A fun trip with my husband to start the summer off with a bang, a grill tools set and a $500 Macy's gift card- not bad for a day's work, right?
It was equally fun and nerve-wracking to serve the judges, Stephanie Izard and Michelle Bernstein. I usually forget my name and what I'm supposed to say once I get in front of judges but I was able to tell them the name of my dish and I explained how I came up with it as well, so I was really glad when that was over!
In our down time we really loved exploring the city. We got to see the Country Music Hall of Fame, we had some fabulous meals and we got to see a few really good bands play as well!
Ancho Orange Grilled Shrimp over Mexican Street Corn Polenta with Poblano Relish and Cilantro Vinaigrette
1 poblano pepper
4 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Cilantro Vinaigrette:
2 cups packed cilantro leaves
1 large clove garlic
½ of a jalapeno, seeds removed
2 Tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

Mexican Street Corn Polenta:
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups whole milk
1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Ancho Orange Grilled Shrimp:
Zest of 1 navel orange
2 Tablespoons navel orange juice
1 Tablespoon orange marmalade
2 Tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons ancho chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds peeled and de-veined jumbo shrimp

Poblano Relish:
1 ripe avocado, diced
¼ cup diced red onion
2 teaspoons honey
Zest of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt

Brush the poblano and ears of corn liberally with the vegetable oil. Place the poblano and corn on a pre-heated, oiled grill set to high heat for about 5-7 minutes, flipping frequently until each side is evenly charred. Remove the corn from the grill, wrap the poblano tightly in foil and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and peel, seed and chop the poblano. Lower the grill to medium-high heat.
To make the Cilantro Vinaigrette, blend together the cilantro leaves, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil and salt in a small food processor until smooth.
To make the polenta, bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil in a large saucepan on the side-burner of your grill. Once the liquid comes to a boil, whisk in the polenta until smooth. Stir in the salt and simmer, on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until polenta is tender. Gently stir in the cotija, mayonnaise and the grilled corn kernels. Keep warm until ready to serve.
In a large glass mixing bowl whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, marmalade, honey, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, coriander, cumin and salt. Add the shrimp to the bowl and stir to evenly coat them. Set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.

While the shrimp marinate, make the poblano relish. In a medium mixing bowl stir together the chopped poblano pepper, avocado, red onion, honey, lime zest and juice and salt.

Once the shrimp have marinated, place them on the grill for 2-4 minutes, or until grill marks show. Turn with tongs and cook on the second side until the shrimp are just opaque but still juicy, about 2 minutes.

To serve, ladle the polenta into large shallow bowls, top with grilled shrimp, then poblano relish and drizzle with cilantro vinaigrette.

Serves 4-6

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, how amazing this dish looks! I will be making this for my parents very soon. Also always enjoy hearing stories about your travels. And your Little Lunches are inspiring as well!


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