Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Homemade Peppermint Bark Topped Red Velvet Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Icing, White Chocolate, + Crushed Peppermint Candies

Homemade Peppermint Bark Topped Red Velvet Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Icing, White Chocolate, + Crushed Peppermint Candies
I come to you with a sad message today... it's the end of 2014, which means this is my last new recipe for the year :( But the good news is that I will be back tomorrow with out Top Ten Favorite Recipes: Salty + Sweet of the year... YAY!! This is by far our favorite post of the year because we get to reminisce and reflect back on all of the yummy food we were able to create, and more importantly, EAT. But before we get to talkin' about the festive Christmas-treat inspired red velvet brownies I made, let's talk about last night, shall we? As many of my followers know, my Mountain Man + I both attended the University of Alabama and are huge football fans, so we decided to travel down to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl/First College Football Playoff Game where our Crimson Tide is taking on the Buckeyes of Ohio State. We woke up early, drove all day, unpacked our stuff, and got ready to head out for a night of good cajun food, lots of booze, and even more shenanigans. And I know as I type this story out to y'all, you are probably thinking... Oh man, New Orleans, she got hammered, what if she was arrested, did she get any beads? Well, my friends, the complete opposite happened. We had arrived at the restaurant and just ordered our food, and while waiting, I went outside to answer a phone call. I opened the door and assumed that there were at least 2-3 steps until the sidewalk, but there weren't any, just one largeeeeeeee drop off. I fell to the ground, rolled my ankle, and crashed it into the cement sidewalk. It was so bad that it immediately started swelling and I had to go to the Emergency Room. So, our first night in New Orleans, we spent it getting x-rays, crutches, finding an open pharmacy, and finished by icing my ankle for the rest of the night. Do I have the best luck or what? I mean, I guess I just like to make a big fat freakin' grand entrance wherever I go. Okay, the depressing start of my NYE vacation has come to an end, so let's get to that recipe. My Mountain Man's family always has a huge reunion Christmas party every year, and I knew I had to make a festive dessert to join in on the potluck. As we all know, my borderline-unhealthy relationship has taken over just about every type of dish you can think of, but I had yet to make red velvet brownies. I made them with the all classic "secret southern" ingredients Mama Jones used to make her red velvet cake with... red food coloring, white vinegar, buttermilk powder (instead of buttermilk for better brownie texture), and just a tad bit of mayo to keep it moist. After you mix up the batter, dump it into a prepared baking pan, bake them, and allow them to cool slightly... then you whip up my mother's easy-peasy chocolate fudge poured icing and drown the top of the red velvet brownies in a thick layer of sugary-chocolatey-heavenly goodness. While the fudge icing is beginning to set, yet still a little warm, scatter a thick layer of chopped up Ghirardelli white chocolate peppermint bark bars over the top. The peppermint will begin to melt as well, and that is the perfect time to top the white chocolate with some more crushed peppermint candies. All you gotta do now is wait for the icing and peppermint bark topping to set and firm up before lifting them out of the pan and cutting them into squares. I really think y'all are going to love these because you get to enjoy everything... layers of moist red velvet brownies, melt-on-your-tongue chocolate fudge icing, the texture of set peppermint bark, and the slight crunch/crackle/pop of the refreshing peppermint candies. Go on ahead and try to tell me who doesn't love red velvet + brownies + fudge frosting + peppermint bark... you can't because it's impossible :) So, it might be a little late to make now since the holiday season has passed us, but I could eat these bad boys all year long!! Enjoy :)

For the Red Velvet Brownies:
2 Large Eggs
2T Mayo
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
2t Vanilla Extract
¼C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (preferably high-quality)
Heavy Pinch of Salt (or to taste)
1T Red Food Coloring (or more until you reach your preferred, desired red color)
1t White Vinegar
¾C AP Flour 
2T Buttermilk Powder

For the Chocolate Fudge Icing:
1 Stick of Butter
1/3C Dark Cocoa Powder (preferably high-quality)
1 Box of Confectioners’ Sugar
1/3C Milk
Splash of Espresso
1t Vanilla
Pinches of Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling (optional; but we love the balance)

For the Peppermint Bark Topping:
1-2C Chopped Ghirardelli White Chocolate Peppermint Bark (depending on your preference on how minty you want the brownies to taste, as well as how thick of a topping you want)
Extra Crushed Peppermint Candies, Crushed (for extra flavor and a nice crunch)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 13x9 sized baking pan with foil (let it hang over top of pan) and spray with nonstick cooking/baking spray. Set it aside while you make the brownie batter.
2. For the Red Velvet Brownies: Whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and fully incorporated. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.
3. Baking the Red Velvet Brownies: Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 45 minutes (depending on the size of your pan and heat of your oven). Transfer the warm brownies to wire rack and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
4. To Make the Fudge Icing: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, keeping the mixture hot. Add in the remaining ingredients quickly and beat until smooth. Spread warm icing on the cooled brownies, and sprinkle with a little fleur del sel (optional).
5. Finishing the Brownies: While them icing begins to firm (yet is just slightly warm), scatter the chopped up white chocolate peppermint bark all over the fudge icing until you have a thick layer that begins to melt on top. Since the white chocolate is beginning to melt, sprinkle the tops of that with crushed up peppermint candies.
6. Serving the Brownies: Once the icing and peppermint back set, lift the brownies out of the pan, using the parchment paper, and cut them into squares. Serve immediately at y'all's Christmas parties!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Southern-Style Jalapeno, Crystallized Aged Cheddar, Bacon Cornbread with Cilantro, Buttermilk, + Scallions, Fried in Bacon Fat Filled Skillet

Southern-Style Jalapeno, Crystallized Aged Cheddar, Bacon Cornbread with Cilantro, Buttermilk, + Scallions, Fried in Bacon Fat Filled Skillet
While at my in-laws home for the holidays in Birmingham, Alabama, we had the opportunity to go hang out with some good friends at night. After one night we arrived, our friend has made some cornbread, and then all of a sudden, we were on a cornbread-talking-kick for about a day straight because I told him of my favorite cornbread recipe. This isn't just any ordinary cornbread you make out of the box, this is a recipe I had adapted from the most famous cook in our family, Mama Jones. Mama Jones always instead on using stone-ground cornmeal (for better texture), a little bit of mayo (for extra added moisture), and frying it in a bacon fat filled cast iron skillet (for even more flavor). Now it might sound crazy to add mayo to a cornbread because as far as I know, no one else does it (well, besides when she did of course). But if you really break it down, it's mainly just eggs and oil whipped together. And in the deep South, we even add mayo to our red velvet cakes and any kind of chocolate cakes. So just take my word for it; it works fabulously. The process may seem tedious, but it is well worth the work, as long as you are organized. Start with three separate mixing bowls... one large and two small. In the large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients until it is a complete cohesive mixture. In one of the other small bowls, whisk together the wet ingredients until it is smooth and well incorporated. Lastly, prep the mix-in bowl by tossing the shredded cheddar, sliced scallion, crispy bacon bits, diced jalapeno, and minced cilantro in a little bit of AP flour. This will help the mix-ins to remain evenly dispersed throughout the cornbread, instead of sinking to the bottom. And now the best part happens... the bacon cooking part, #butofcourse. Fry an entire pound of bacon until super crispy in a large, deep cast-iron skillet. After the bacon has fried, strain the fat through a fine mesh sieve to remove it burnt, black bits from the bottom of the pan (make sure to rub down skillet with a paper towel to make sure there is no residue remaining. After that process, pour the bacon fat back into the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Allow it to almost reach it's smoking point before pour in the cornbread batter, making sure to even spread and smooth out the batter, so that it fills up the whole pan. Cook for a few minutes until the edges begin to bubble and cook slightly. Afterwards, take that bacon fat-soaked-fried cornbread skillet and place it onto a baking sheet and cook it until you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean. After pulling it out of the oven, let it chill for 5-10 minutes before inverting it onto a cutting board and slicing it into pieces. I suggest your serve your cornbread with a softened high-quality butter or even a compound butter made with fresh cilantro or candied bacon or pepper jelly. This cornbread is the bomb... it is super moist, yet still has the desirable crumbly cornbread texture, while also having a spicy kick, a toasty cheese taste, and the smokey bacon flavor. Make sure to eat this cornbread while it is still hot and the butter is stilling melting on your slice of cornbread, yummmmmmm!! Enjoy :)

For the Cornbread:
1lb Thick-Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
3 ½C AP Flour
1C Yellow Cornmeal (preferably coarse ground, we like Anson Mills)
2T Baking Powder
¼C Sugar
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper + Fleur de Sel, To Taste
2 Spoonfuls of Mayonnaise (for added extra moisture)
1-2T Honey
2C Buttermilk, Freshly Shaken
4 Medium Eggs, Lightly Beaten
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Melted & Cooled (you can brown it to if you like, but we didn’t)
1 Lime, Zested
8oz Crystallized Aged White Cheddar, Shredded (but any high-quality aged cheddar will do)
½C Sliced Scallions
2-3 Jalapenos, Minced (depending on your heat preference)
2-4T Fresh Cilantro, Minced (depending on your preference)
High-Quality Butter or Compound Butter, For Serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out your cast iron skillet.
2. For the Bacon: Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and fry the bacon slices until they are all quite crispy. You do not want them to be chewy because when they are baked into the cornbread, they bacon bits tend to get soggy and you want crispy nuggets of gold. After you have fried all of the bacon, strain the fat through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Wipe out the skillet, in order to remove any black, burnt bits from the bottom of the pan (because that won’t taste to good at the end). Pour the strained bacon fat back into the rubbed-down skillet and let it sit there while you make the cornbread.
3. Beginning the Cornbread: In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, fresh cracked pepper, and fleur de sel until a cohesive mixture is formed. In another small bowl, plop in the two spoonfuls of mayo and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the honey, buttermilk, beaten eggs, the melted (and cooled) butter, and the zest of one lime. We don’t want no scrambled eggs in our cornbread, y’all (so be careful with hot butter).
4. Prepping the Mix-Ins: Grate the crystallized, aged cheddar into large shreds. Add it into another small mixing bowl. Slice the scallions and add them to the cheddar bowl. Dice the fresh jalapenos and add them to the same bowl as well. Finely chop of the super crispy bacon until they resemble (slightly-larger) bacon bits and toss them into the bowl. Lastly, mince up as much fresh cilantro as you like and lastly add that to the mix-in component bowl. Add in a couple tablespoons of AP Flour into the mix-in bowl and toss all of the ingredients around, so that they are all lightly coated in the flour. This will help the mix-ins to remain evenly dispersed throughout the cornbread, instead of sinking to the bottom.
5. Finishing the Cornbread: Using the large mixing bowl of dry ingredients as the starting point, pour in the small mixing bowl of the wet ingredients. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't please DO NOT over-mix or it could become quite dry + crumbly. Lastly, add in the flour-tossed mix-ins by gently folding them into the batter, just until everything is combined and mixed throughout. Set this aside and get that bacon fat skillet ready.
6. For the Bacon Fat Fried Cornbread: Reheat the bacon fat in the cast iron skillet to medium-high heat until it is almost to its smoking point. Once it has reached that point, slowly pour or spoon in the loaded cornbread batter into the hot bacon fat. It should begin to sizzle and pop… this a good thing and what develops the most delicious crisp crust. Just make a concerted effort to spread out the cornbread, so that the whole pan is filled. Fry the bread just until the edges begin to bubble and cook, about 3-5 minutes, depending the size of your skillet. Place the hot skillet onto a baking sheet (this will help keep any drippings of bacon fat that might spill over while cooking) and place the whole thing into the preheated oven. Cooke the cornbread for 45 minutes to an hour, making sure to check the cornbread at the 30 + 40 minute mark with a toothpick for doneness (so it doesn’t get overcooked).
7. Serving the Cornbread: Once the cornbread it cooked thoroughly through, remove it from the oven and use a knife to run along the edges of the skillet to loosen up any stuck sides. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, just so it can chill a bit. After settling, invert the cornbread out of the skillet and onto a cutting board. Cut the bread into cake-style slices (we hade about 12 generous slices of cornbread at the end). Serve the cornbread with softened, high-quality butter (or even a cilantro compound butter or candied bacon butter, um yum) for even more flavor! Enjoy while it’s still hot and the butter begins to melt on each slice! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Festive Christmas Cheeseball with Boursin Cheese, Cranberry Cheddar, Aged Gruyere, Caramelized Walnuts, Crispy Sage, Chives, + Rolled in Pomegranate Arils

Festive Christmas Cheeseball with Boursin Cheese, Cranberry Cheddar, Aged Gruyere, Caramelized Walnuts, Crispy Sage, Chives, + Rolled in Pomegranate Arils
Hey y'all, sorry I have been out of commission, we have been traveling non-stop. First we were in Birmingham for about a week, and then Atlanta for a few days, and in just two day, we're heading off to New Orleans for the Alabama vs. Ohio State game at the Sugar Bowl for the first football playoff game... oh yeah, and we get to celebrate New Years Eve there too!! So it will have been a couple crazy weeks. But even though we are heading to the famous Bourbon Street, sadly, we have to admit that Christmas has passed us once again :( I can't believe it has already come + gone and now we have have to wait a'whole'nother year before celebrating it again. This year, since we were so busy, I unfortunately didn't get to make but two new recipes to honor the holiday season. This is the first recipe and it is the perfect party appetizer that all your friends + family are sure to enjoy. And hey, it's festive in color, to boot! The cheeseball begins with softened cream cheese + boursin cheese, shredded cranberry cheddar + aged gruyere, caramelized walnuts, crispy sage, fresh chives, and finally rolled in pomegranate arils. How perfect is that... green, red, + white? It's like Santa's elves made it themselves. Honestly, it is so easy to make as well. All you have to do is beat together the softened cream cheese and boursin until whipped + cohesive. And then toss in the the shredded cheese, walnuts, herbs, and some fresh cracked pepper. Mix it together until a cohesive mixture is formed, and using plastic wrap, roll it into one large ball or two medium-sized balls, before placing them into the fridge to chill. Meanwhile, pour your pomegranate arils onto a thickly, paper towel-lined cutting board and spread them out, so that they can dry as much as possible. The more moisture removed, the better the cheeseball will look and taste (we don't want no soggy cheese, y'all)!! After the cheeseball has chilled out in the fridge and the pomegranate is perfectly dry, you just need roll the ball around in the arils, pressing them in slightly, so that they adhere and stick to the cheese... making the perfect presentation. You can serve the festive christmas cheeseball directly out of the refrigerator or you can let it soften a bit, so it is easier to spread onto various crackers. This appetizer hits every flavor note that you could ever want... salty, sweet, juicy, herby, cheesy, fruity, creamy, + nutty!! I hope y'all get to enjoy this one before New Years Day!! Enjoy :)
For the Festive Cheeseball:
4T Unsalted Butter, Melted
16 Fresh Sage Leaves
1 Round of Boursin Cheese, Softened
8oz Cream Cheese, Softened
6oz Cranberry Cheddar, Shredded
6oz Aged Gruyere, Shredded
1C Caramelized Walnuts
¼C Fresh Minced Chives (or more if you please)
Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
1C Fresh Pomegranate Arils (enough to cover the ball; dried cranberries are a good substitute)
Various Styles of Crackers, For Serving

1. Frying the Sage: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once it's sizzling, toss in the sage leaves and cook until crispy - flipping once and cooking about 1 minute per side. Remove the sage leaves and place them on a paper towel to crisp up a bit. Set the butter aside.
2. Making the Cheeseball: In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone and cheddar cheese. Beat until combined, and then add in the almonds, sage leaves, remaining butter, salt and pepper. Mix on low speed until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides and the bottom if needed. Take the cheese mixture out of the bowl and mold it into a big ball as best you can. Roll it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Prepping the Pomegranate: Meanwhile, place the arils on a paper towel and pat them completely dry. Let them sit out while the cheese is chilling to remove as much liquid from them as possible. This will keep the cheeseball pretty, and not wet or slimy.
4. Finishing the Cheeseball: After 30 minutes, mold the cheese into more of a smooth ball. Add the arils to a plate or baking sheet and roll the ball through them, using your hands to press arils into all the cracks and crevices. You will need to gently press so the arils adhere to the cheese. At this time, you can serve it immediately or keep it in the fridge until ready to use. If you want to make it ahead of time, you can rolls the ball 1 to 2 days beforehand. I'd wait until the night before or morning of to add the pomegranate arils, and you may need to let the cheese come to room temp a bit so it's sticky enough.
5. Serve with various types of crackers and enjoy with friends + family!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi on Crispy Parmesan Polenta Cakes with Sun Dried Red Pepper Puree, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, + a Drizzle of Balsamic Reduction

Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi on Crispy Parmesan Polenta Cakes with Sun Dried Red
 Pepper Puree, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, + a Drizzle of Balsamic Reduction
As y'all all know, we love us some shrimp + grits on the Haute + Heirloom blog. Matter of fact, it's my Mountain Man's favorite meal. He loves it so much that he asked the executive chef at our wedding venue, JCT Kitchen + Bar, to create a custom shrimp + grits entree featuring pimento cheese grits and smokey andouille sausage. So far, our favorite recipe for this famous southern dish is The Most Ridiculous Blackened Cajun Shrimp + Pimento Cheese Grits with Tomato-Tabasco-Andouille Gravy, Collard Green Pesto, Crispy Soft Poached Eggs, + Candied Bacon because, well, it's a dixieland delight. Our second loved recipe, BBQ Shrimp + Charred Corn-Goat Cheese Grits with Roasted Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes, Country Ham, + Red Eye Gravy, went in a completely different direction, but is just as satisfying. I think this low-country classic is so extremely versatile that it can adapt to almost every type of cuisine. I can visualize each new recipe in my head already... Asian, Classical French, Caribbean, Spanish, Mexican, and Italian. Well, today's recipe is gonna feature an Italian twist. It starts off with some slow roasted cherry tomatoes because it's one of my favorite ingredients and I love the concentrated tomato flavor that you achieve just by cooking them low + slow. As you open up the oven door, your mouth begins to open along with it because they look like gorgeous little tomato jewels. Recently, I have been beyond-obsessed with Delallo's Sweet + Tangy Sun-Dried Red Peppers. We seriously can't get enough of them. They are amazing on pizza, in pasta dishes, added into hummus, and blended into an aioli. We chose to use it by making it into a thick red pepper puree. For the crispy parmesan polenta cakes, you can either go the easy route or the more-labor intensive route. While I normally go with the harder route, we decided to forgo that option and by one of the tubes of polenta that you can buy at your local grocery store. It's so easy-peasy because all you have to do is slice them into thick rounds, and then they are ready to be fried in olive oil until they reach a perfectly golden brown color and an utterly crispy outside. I also freshly grated parmesan on top of the fried cakes for that nutty, salty flavor we all just can't live without. Now onto the most important component, the shrimp, duh. And what is more Italian than Shrimp Scampi? The classic recipe for Scampi is already fabulous, but guess what, it's even better this way! My way involves lots of brown butter, fresh garlic, white wine, lots of italian herbs, and some lemon juice. Juicy shrimp + brown butter + slow roasted cherry tomatoes = a winning combination that should be considered our new favorite celebrity couple. Assembling this dish was by far my favorite part, besides eating if of course, because of all the rich colors that just pop off the plate. Start by creating a sun dried red pepper puree puddle in the middle of your plate, followed by plopping a crispy parmesan polenta cake on top of your puree, and then finally spooning all that brown-butter-shrimp-scampi goodness into a mountain that almost completely covers your cakes. Garnish the final dish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a-whole-mess of herbs for color + flavor. And I just have to say that this Italian spin on shrimp + grits was wildly successful, so I think y'all should make it too!! Enjoy :)
the beginnings of slow roasted rainbow cherry tomatoes
brown butter. slow roasted tomatoes. fresh herbs. garlic. juicy shrimp. 
brown butter shrimp scampi goodness is coming your way...
sun dried red pepper puree. crispy parmesan polenta cake. brown butter shrimp scampi.
slow roasted cherry tomatoes. fresh herbs. balsamic reduction. 
now try and tell me that this dish isn't perfection because it certainly is 
okay enough of the chit-chat, i'm ready to dig into this.
Roasted Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes:
2C Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes, Cut in Half
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

For the Sun Dried Red Pepper Puree:
1 Container of Delallo Sun Dried Red Peppers, Drained & Patted Dry (as good as possible)
1 Bulb of Roasted Garlic
Salt, Fresh Cracked Pepper, & Sugar (to taste)
1T Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Water or Chicken Stock, For Thinning the Puree (if this is even needed)

For the Crispy Polenta Cakes:
1 Tube of Store-Bought of Polenta, Cut into Thick Slices
AP Flour, For Dusting the Polenta Cakes
EVOO, For Frying
A Pinch of Salt & Pepper on Each Slice of Polenta
Freshly Grated Parmesan, For Topping the Cakes

For the Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi:
1lb pound of Fresh Georgia Shrimp, Peeled + Deveined
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Melted + Browned
6 Cloves of Garlic, Cut into Thin Sliced (so that they are slivered)
1t Dried Red Pepper Flakes (we like ours spicy, if you don’t, then decrease to your liking)
½C White Wine
2T Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped
1T Fresh Basil, Finely Chopped
1T Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Salt + Pepper, To Taste
Prepared Slow Roasted Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes
Homemade Balsamic Reduction, For Drizzling

1. For the Roasted Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 °. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and kosher salt and arrange on a sheet pan cut side up. Top the tomatoes with a few sprigs of rosemary. Cook for approximately one hour until they are soft, shriveling, and turning golden brown.
2. For the Sun Dried Red Pepper Puree: In a food processor, add in the drained + dried Delallo sun dried red peppers (of oil), along with the roasted garlic cloves. Begin to puree the mixture, while it is still on, drizzle in the olive oil until you have reached your desired thickness. If you find it too thick for your tastes, then add some water or chicken stock to thin it out a little bit. Season to taste with salt, fresh cracked pepper, and sugar if needed. Once you have made your perfect puree, set it aside until you are ready to assemble the dish.
3. For the Crispy Polenta Cakes: Cut the tube of polenta into thick slices, and then dust them in a little AP flour and shake off any excess. Heat about 1-2 inches of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot and starting to smoke just a little, add the polenta circles. Cook the polenta on both sides or until they are golden brown in color and have crisp edges. Finish by grating it with a little bit Parmesan. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm until the shrimp scampi is done.
4. For the Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi: Heat a sauté pan on high heat then reduce to medium high heat. Swirl the butter and olive oil into the pan. After the butter melts it will foam up a bit then it will begin to subside. If using unsalted butter, sprinkle a little salt in the pan. Stir in the slivered garlic and red pepper flakes. Sautee the garlic for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to brown around the edges, and then add in the prepared shrimp. Pour in the white wine and brown butter and stir to coat the shrimp in the sauce that has formed in the pan. Make sure to keep the shrimp in an even layer in the pan, so that they all cook and brown at the same speed. Increase the heat to high and boil the sauce (with the shrimp) for 2-3 minutes or until is has become a cohesive, silky sauce. Stir or fold the shrimp again into the sauce, making sure to flip them over, so that the other side browns some as well (this should only take about 1 minute). Gently add in the slow roasted tomatoes into the pan and fold them in with the shrimp (the more gentle you are, you are more likely to have solid pieces of tomatoes that don’t break down into a tomato sauce, we want them whole). Remove this mixture off the heat add in the fresh parsley, basil, & lemon juice. Season with salt + pepper to taste. Finally, toss all of the ingredients together until your brown butter shrimp scampi is absolutely perfect.
5. Assembling the Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi + Crispy Polenta Cakes: Spoon the sun dried red pepper puree into a thick circle in the center of a plate. Top the puree with a crispy Parmesan polenta cakes, followed by some brown butter shrimp scampi with roasted tomatoes. Finally garnish the plate with some more herbs and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Enjoy while it is still hot!!