View of the burned car and the charred remains (under burlap bag) of gangster Morris Grossman in front of 240 E. 81st St
2 cups instant polenta
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup basil leaves
11/2 cups cup olive oil
2 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt for pesto mixture
2 tablespoons butter
Cook polenta according to directions on package. Allow to cool in a sheet pan or two rubbed with olive oil. Use a spatula to even out the mixture to a height of approximately 1 inch. Once cooled and firm, remove from pan and cut into 2-inch squares. Grill in a stove-top grill pan just long enough to make grill marks and set aside for later use. Can be done a day ahead.
Make a light pesto by combining the basil, olive oil, garlic and salt in mini food processor and mix; season to taste.
One hour before cooking marinate the peeled and deveined shrimp in half the pesto mixture. Dry the shrimp mixture on paper towels and saute in a large saute pan coated with olive oil until just pink. Add the remaining pesto mixture and finish cooking the shrimp about 2 more minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Swirl 2 tablespoons butter into the remaining liquid and melt. Set polenta squares on serving platter and using a basting brush coat them with liquid in the pan, top each with a shrimp and serve.