Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I guess I'm always surprised to hear people say they don't know what polenta is. Polenta is the Italian version of mashed potatoes. Made essentially of cornmeal and water it's easy to play around with it to make it your own. A dab of butter, cup of milk, maybe some Parmesan, salt, pepper, thrown in your favorite herbs, whatever you have or want. It takes ten to fifteen minutes and you can even have it in two forms. I like mine to be soft and creamy, with a pudding like texture so it sticks to your spoon and melts in your mouth. But you can also make it firm by adding less water and in the end cut fun shapes like triangles and squares to fry or bake.
I've found Lamb cornmeal at most grocery stores and I like it for the mere fact that it's Texan made. A big advocate of local foods to support local farmers and reduce ecological footprint I try to be conscientious about the products I buy, even if it is a few cents more. And it's always worked beautifully for me.
Polenta with Tomato Sauce and Poached Egg
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
3 cups polenta (cornmeal)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (preferably freshly grated)
1/2 cup milk
2 TB. butter
Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp thyme (or any herb)
Any favorite bottled tomato sauce
2 large eggs (at room temp.)
Bring water to a boil and add salt. Gradually whisk in cornmeal and reduce heat to low, stirring often until mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese,milk, butter, herbs, and pepper. Stir until all has melted and transfer to bowl.
While the polenta is cooking simmer tomato sauce on low to reheat.
Poach eggs by using a sauce pan with at least 3 inches deep of water and add a splash of vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Crack eggs into a small shallow dish such as a ramekin and slowly lower into the pot. Don't touch and let sit for at least 3 minutes, give or take a minutes depending on how you like your eggs. Take out with a slotted spoon and let drain for a second.
Pour polenta into serving bowls, spoon warm tomato sauce over, and place your elegent egg on top.