polenta surprise

4 Apr

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it seems that with every blog i do, i forget a step or omit something {unintentionally or otherwise} and for this i am sorry.  i will get better in the future.  in this case, i forgot to photograph the zucchini…

for this post i am featuring a fun new item i have always wanted to try… and now that i have, i think i recall having it before. i liken it to cream of wheat, one of my childhood favourites.  i’m talking about polenta.

a true italian staple, polenta can be prepared all kinds of ways – and i recently found this article {after} i prepared my dish… i can’t wait to try some random variation of one of those!!

so – as per usual, for my polenta creation, i completely winged it.  originally i thought it may come out in a different form than it did… i’m totally okay with how it turned out, it still tasted wonderful. however, in the future i will experiment more.  i do love the flavour.  polenta is kind of like grits – another childhood food memory, what being from south carolina and all 🙂

so here are the ingredients :

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{serves 2}

– 1 polenta log

– 2 small zucchini

– 3-4 small tomatoes {big surprise – my starring role is san marzano}

– 4-5 cloves garlic {i like a lot of garlic!}

– 1/2 medium-sized onion {i chose sweet onions because they are in season and on sale!}

– 3-4 mushrooms

– veggie stock for deglazing

– green onions for garnish

to begin, set oven to 350 degrees.  i sliced the zucchini in quarters and then made my own slivers… i’m so bummed i forgot to get a photo!  but you are smart readers, you can figure it out 🙂 or make your own variety!  it’s about the ingredients, not the aesthetics…

i then tossed the zucchini slivers in a bit of EVOO and S&P in a mixing bowl.  place them on a baking sheet or pan and set aside for now while oven heats.

chop up your ingredients

pop the zucchini in the oven for 10-15 minutes while you make your fixins.

now create your sauce… heat a thin layer of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  toss in your onions and let them cook up a bit.  add your garlic and let the flavours caramelize together, then add in your mushrooms.  keep on low to medium heat in order to not burn.  you want the flavours to combine without scorching anything.

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cook until garlic is tender then add in your tomatoes

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simmer slowly until sauce begins to form as tomatoes break open and juices begin flowing.  add in a little veggie stock if you’d like

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here’s the thing i learned about polenta…

1.  doesn’t work so well with my stainless steel pan.  but then again, not much does – most things stick to it.  i just like it because i feel like it’s the safest and cleanest, overall.

2.  with the above aforementioned truth, i would’ve added a tad bit of butter to the pan and made it more like a creamy sauce.

this is what it looked like when i tried to take 1/2 inch disks and heat them sans butter :

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oops!

regardless, this ended up being super tasty – and like i always say, add your own variation to it! polenta is still a healthy alternative to many pastas or even white rice.

you’re really just heating up the polenta, as it’s already cooked.  once your sauce is looking the way you’d like, turn off your burners and pull the zucchini out of the oven.

add in a few chopped green onions or scallions and a smidgen of the veggie stock to bring the sauce all together.

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as usual i put all of this on a bed of spring greens.  i’m all about “the pile” lately… in this case –

bed of lettuce, zucchini, polenta crumbles, yummy sauce, top with green onion flakes and enjoy!

looks something like this :

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2 Responses to “polenta surprise”

  1. realfunfood April 5, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    Ha ha – I love Cream of Wheat! I also love polenta. So. Much.

    Like

  2. anthony0358 April 5, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    wow
    I never heard of this before
    gosh my food never comes out looking like this

    Like

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