Monday, February 7, 2011

Herbed Polenta

Right now I have two dinner goals. I am trying to work down our pantry -- use things we have in the house, and find dishes that work for my diet and with a little embellishment work for James too. Tonight, thinking of the mound of now off limits( for me) dairy in our fridge I decided on a creamy polenta. I had a recipe from Osteria Stellina ready to adapt. First I gathered a mix of fresh herbs -- 3 sprigs of thyme, about 2 TB rosemary, 1/4 cup of parsley, and about 1/2 TB fresh sage all chopped together waiting to flavor James' dinner. I melted a TB of butter in with 2 TB of olive oil and added in 1 chopped onion. I cooked the onion over medium heat until it was translucent and soft but not colored (about 4 minutes). Then I added 4 cups of water, 1/2 of the herb mixture, S&P, and brought the mixture to a boil. I stirred in 1 cup of polenta and allowed the pot to boil for just a minute or two until the polenta had started to thicken and then reduced the heat to low (so the mixture was just bubbling) and cooked -- stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes I poured in about 1/2 cup heavy cream, the rest of the herbs and a handful of chopped raclette (I went for something easy melting) cheese. I stirred for a few minutes more until the mixture was soft and creamy.
While the polenta cooked I whipped up a vegetable topping we could share. To a non-stick skillet barely coated with a spray of olive oil I added sliced mushrooms, chili peppers, garlic, and salt and covered the pan over medium low heat to let the mushrooms color and cook down. I added a bit of broth and a large bunch of escarole, covered the pan again and let the greens steam on top of the mushrooms. For James I sautéed thin slices of chorizo in fruitty olive oil for a drizzle on top. Herbed polenta with sautéed mushrooms and escarole with chorizo oil.
You could call it pantry driven Euro-fusion or, just what James had for dinner.

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