Tag Archives: polenta

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard with Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

22 Jun

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This was a decadent tasting but relatively healthy lunch that I enjoyed immensely. The creamy polenta works well with the texture of the Swiss chard stems. The tangy flavor of the goat cheese compliments the slightly sweet, slightly acidic flavor of the balsamic. Both are balanced out by a generous helping of spicy crushed red pepper flakes and a healthy dose of garlic. As an added bonus, this dish is really pretty thanks to the colorful Swiss chard stems and bright green leaves. If you wanted to make this more substantial, a poached egg on top would be a welcome addition to the flavor party.

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard with Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta:

3 cups water

1 cup polenta

3 tbs. goat cheese

1/2 cup milk

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Whisk in polenta, and reduce heat to medium low. Whisking frequently, cook until polenta is cooked through and most of the water is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Add goat cheese and milk and whisk to combine. Cook another 5 minutes until milk is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard:

1 bunch Swiss chard

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium spring onion, chopped

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. butter

2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare the Swiss chard for cooking by cutting off the tough ends of the stems. Line up the ends of the stems of the Swiss chard and cut every 2-3″ width wide. Set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add Swiss chard and saute, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add crushed red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar. Cook another 30 seconds to one minute, until balsamic is mostly evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve Swiss chard over cooked polenta.

Crispy Polenta and Braised Swiss Chard with Cod Poached in White Wine

18 Dec

I apologize for the slow-down in posts this week.  I’m finishing up my first set of law school exams on Monday, so I’ve been preoccupied with studying and have been relying mostly on old standbys for dinners.  Thus, not too much to report.

Today, I decided to spend a little bit of time in the kitchen and wanted to make use of a wonderful present from my future sister-in-law: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.  It’s a book I’ve been meaning to buy for awhile now but for some reason never got around to it.  It was a perfect gift and I’ll certainly be using it as a source of inspiration and recipes for many years to come.  Thanks, Abbie!

This dish was healthy, colorful, and packed with flavor.  The instructions look like a lot of work, but it was really very easy.  Other than the cooking and chilling of the polenta, this dish came together in 25 minutes or so.  I made the polenta yesterday, so there was very little work involved in this dish today.  I loved how it had all the classic flavors of a fish fry thanks to the crispy bread-like flavors of the polenta and the bright lemon of the Swiss chard but very little of the cholesterol and fat.  Yum!

Crispy Polenta and Braised Swiss Chard with Cod Poached in White Wine

Crispy Polenta:

6 cups homemade seafood stock

2 1/2 cups polenta

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, divided

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup coarsely grated very sharp cheddar

3 tbs. garlic hot sauce, divided

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Non-stick cooking spray

Bring seafood stock to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in polenta.  The mixture should be relatively soupy.  Stirring occasionally, let simmer 15-20 minutes until polenta is tender and most of the stock has evaporated/been absorbed.

Add 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown, plain Greek yogurt, cheddar and 2 tbs. of hot sauce, whisking constantly.  Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt and other ingredients as necessary.

Spray a  6″ x 10″ casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray (or whatever size you prefer – the smaller the dish, the longer you will need to chill the polenta).  Pour the polenta into the dish and drizzle with remaining tbs. of hot sauce.  Let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to refrigerator and chill until set, preferably overnight but at least 6-8 hours.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and remaining 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown over medium-high heat.  Add a 4″ x 4″ slice of polenta and sauté 4-5 minutes per side until light golden brown.

Place in preheated 350º oven to keep warm.  If you have a sous-chef or don’t mind a mad scramble at the end of a dish coming together, this isn’t necessary.  Simply wait until the fish is about to come out of the oven and begin to sauté polenta.

[Note: This recipe makes more polenta than you will use for the braised Swiss chard and cod poached in white wine presentation pictured above.  A few ideas for how to use the polenta before chilling include Merlot Mushrooms with Lemon Kohlrabi Greens and Polenta, Stuffed Cubanelles with Chipotle Sauce and Creamy Polenta, and Butternut Squash Polenta with Spicy Spinach and Shredded Pork.  After setting, consider Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Tomato Polenta and Eggs, and Pan Fried Polenta with Chilies, Corn, and a Fried Egg.  Simply substitute the recipe above for the recipe included and you’ll have a nice meal on your hands.]

Cod Poached in White Wine:

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

1 tbs. green onions, whites finely minced and green ends roughly chopped, 2 tbs. green ends reserved

2 fillets Pacific cod, defrosted if frozen (thicker fillets work better for this recipe)

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, plus more for buttering

1 cup white wine, chilled (I used pinot grigio)

3 tbs. bottled clam juice, chilled

Water (if necessary)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Butter a small  oven proof cast iron sauce pan with Brummel & Brown.  Sprinkle half of the onion whites on the bottom of the dish.  Season the fillets lightly with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and arrange them on the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle the fillets with remaining onions and dot with 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown.  Pour in the white wine and clam juice.  If necessary, add cold water to barely cover.

Over low heat, bring liquid to almost a simmer.  Poaching liquid should be shimmering but not simmering.  Cover sauce pan with buttered waxed paper (I used aluminum foil, which may discolor the wine, but I didn’t have waxed paper.  It turned out fine nevertheless.).  Place the sauce pan in the bottom third of preheated oven.  Poach, maintaining the liquid at a near-simmer, for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.  When cooked, a fork should pierce the flesh easily but the fish should not be dry or overly flaky.

[While fish is poaching, begin to sauté braised swiss chard per below.]

Carefully remove the fish from the poaching liquid and place on a covered dish to keep warm.

Remove about 1/2 cup of poaching liquid.  Place the sauce pan with remaining poaching liquid over medium-high heat and add remaining 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown.  Briskly simmer the poaching liquid until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Braised Swiss Chard:

5-6 stems Swiss Chard, leaves removed from stems, all roughly chopped

3/4 cup reserved poaching liquid from above (can also use 1/2 cup of white wine or 1/2 cup of seafood or other stock)

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 tbs. olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Add Swiss chard stems and sauté until slightly tender, roughly 3-5 minutes.  Add Swiss chard leaves and stir to coat with olive oil and disperse garlic.  Sauté 2-3 minutes until leaves are slightly wilted.  Add lemon juice and reserved poaching liquid and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, uncovered, and cook until Swiss chard is soft and liquid has evaporated/been absorbed, about 5-8 minutes

Assembly:

2 squares crispy polenta (see above)

2 fillets cod poached in white wine (see above)

3 cups braised Swiss chard (see above)

2 tbs. green ends of green onions, reserved from above

Place square of crispy polenta on the plate.  Top with a heaping serving spoon filled with braised Swiss chard.  Top with fish.  Spoon reduced poaching liquid over fillets.  Garnish with green ends of green onions reserved from cod poached in white win

Pan-Fried Polenta with Chilies, Corn and a Fried Egg

13 Sep

Topped with an egg, pan-fried polenta is my favorite brunch food.  We ate this for dinner (who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner now and again?), but this summer the concept is something I ate as a late breakfast about three days a week and never tired of.  I love the way the yolk of the egg combines with the creaminess of the polenta.  The mild heat of the chilies and the cool acidity of the tomatoes worked wonderfully together in this particular dish.  The polenta is a tad time-consuming, but the rest of it takes about ten minutes and the polenta can be prepared ahead of time.

Pan-Fried Polenta with Chilies, Corn and a Fried Egg

Serves 2¹

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown or butter substitute, divided

1 7 oz. can of mild whole green fire roasted chilies, diced (reserve juice)

5 cups of water

2 cups of polenta

1 cup milk

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp. garlic hot sauce

1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

Non-stick spray

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tomato, diced

2 eggs

1 pinch dried parsley

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbs. of Brummel & Brown over medium heat.  Sauté garlic until well-browned.  Add five cups water and reserved juice from the chilies and bring to a simmer.  Slowly whisk in two cups of polenta and reduce heat to medium-low or to maintain a slow simmer.  When most of water is absorbed, add the cumin, sour cream, garlic hot sauce, and cup of milk.  Simmer, stirring frequently, over low heat roughly 15-20 minutes.  When polenta is nearly done, add diced green chilies and corn.  Simmer another five minutes or so until polenta is cooked through and corn and chilies are heated.

Spray a large casserole with non-stick spray.  Pour polenta into the casserole dish and smooth with a large spoon.  Let cool.  Once cool, place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours until solid.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add two slices of polenta from casserole (roughly 4″ square) and fry 5-6 minutes per side until golden brown.  Once golden brown, top each slice with 1/2 of shredded cheddar cheese and cover skillet.  Steam cheese until melted, roughly 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of Brummel & Brown.  Fry two eggs, seasoned with freshly cracked black pepper, roughly 1-2 minutes per side, until over-easy or to taste.

Serve fried polenta slices topped with diced tomato and fried egg and garnish with dried parsley.

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Butternut Squash Polenta with Spicy Spinach and Shredded Pork

20 Jul

Talk about flavorful!  In an effort to use up the leftover pork from yesterday’s roasted pork loin with roasted garlic and arugula vinaigrette and a butternut squash that was nearing it’s end, I came up with this recipe.  I remembered reading about a butternut squash polenta somewhere, and after a few minutes of Googling, found what I was looking for: this delicious sounding dish from Food & Style.  After making some pretty significant changes to suit our tastes and what I had on hand, I ended up with a meal that was an absolute explosion of flavors.  The polenta was decadently creamy and bursting with the yummy flavor of butternut squash.  The spinach had just enough heat and garlic to really shine against the fattiness of the pork without overwhelming the gentle acidity of the red wine vinegar and distinctive taste of the Caraway seed.  This dish was also amazingly easy to prepare, especially since so much of it could be done ahead of time.  I roasted the squash, shredded the pork, and then left the house for most of the afternoon.  Once Zak was home from work and ready to eat, all I had to do was reheat the pork, whip up the polenta, and sauté the spinach, which only took about 20 minutes.

We both absolutely loved this and I’ll be making it again in the future.  Almost any leftover meat would taste great on top, or it would be delicious as a vegetarian option.

Butternut Squash Polenta with Spicy Spinach and Shredded Pork

Adapted from Food & Style

Serves 2

Shredded Pork:

1.5 lbs leftover roasted pork, cut into large chunks or slices

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, other butter substitute, or butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. Caraway seed

1/2 tsp. marjoram

2 tbs. red wine vinegar

3 cups homemade chicken stock

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

In a heavy, medium sized saucepan heat Brummel & Brown over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until golden brown.  Add onions, Caraway seed, marjoram, and salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly caramelized (about 10-15 minutes).  Reduce heat to medium-low and add pork, chicken stock, and red wine vinegar.  Simmer, covered, roughly one hour.

From time to time, reduce heat to low and use two forks to shred the pork.  Return heat to medium-low and re-cover.  If necessary, uncover and simmer until sauce reduces so that pork is barely wet about 15 minutes before serving time.

Butternut Squash Puree:

1 large butternut squash, halved

Cooking spray

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

2 tbs. plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 400°.

Spray flesh side of butternut squash with cooking spray and season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper.  Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil (for easy clean up) and position a roasting rack over baking sheet.  Spray roasting rack with cooking spray.  Place squash halves flesh side down on roasting rack and roast 50 minutes or until very tender.

Let squash cool.  Scoop out flesh of one half of squash and place in food processor, saving the other half of the squash for another purpose.  Process until mostly smooth.  Add Greek yogurt and process until completely smooth.  Set aside.

This portion of the recipe can be prepared up to a day in advance and chilled in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Polenta:

3 cups homemade chicken stock

1 cup polenta (also known as corn grits)

1/2 cup asiago fresco cheese, shredded

Butternut Squash Puree (see above)

In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock over medium-high heat until at a rolling boil.  Slowly whisk in polenta.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of liquid has been absorbed by the polenta.  Add the asiago and Butternut Squash Puree (see above) and heat until cheese is melted and puree is heated through.

Spicy Spinach:

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. olive oil

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained

1 heaping tsp. paprika

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauté until tender, 1-2 minutes.  Add paprika and crushed red pepper, followed immediately by chopped spinach.  Sauté, stirring constantly, until spinach is heated through.

To serve, place polenta in bowl topped with the spinach followed by the pork and a few tablespoons of juices from the pork.

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