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Parmesan Polenta with Tomatoes and Spinach

polentaplatecloseGluten-free March is off to a good start, but I’m already craving wheat. I went to a bar with friends on Saturday, and while everyone ordered grilled cheese sandwiches or burgers with beer, I got an arugula salad and hard cider. Now, I love a salad and cider, but when you’re craving a burger on a brioche bun with a cold, hoppy beer, they just don’t satisfy. I hope the wheat cravings diminish as the month goes on.

To help quash my craving for something warm and wheat-like, I made polenta squares for lunch the next day. It was my first time trying them at home, and I was amazed at how easy they are to make: boil, whisk, pour, cool, cut, broil. And good goodness are they cheap at just $1.75 for a two pound bag of cornmeal. Throw in a can of diced tomatoes, garlic, spices, and a handful of spinach, and you have a meal.

cornmealCornmeal has the color and consistency of a fine sand when it’s dry. Once you add it to boiling liquid and start whisking, it plumps and thickens. Continue Reading →

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Polenta Pie

polentadone

My mouth is still not fully healed from my surgery, but this weekend was the first time I branched out beyond pasta and I may have gone a bit overboard. Saturday dinner was barbecue from Fette Sau, Sunday morning brunch was vegetarian eggs Benedict at Brooklyn Label, and Valentine’s Day dinner was a chicken taco by Ramsey at my request. The whole weekend was rounded out with a game of Scrabble and an assortment of Italian pastries from Fortunato Brothers in Williamsburg. Oof.

I felt a recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook was in order for dinner tonight, and I chose Polenta Pie. Photos and a short recap after the jump. Continue Reading →

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Maple Pork Loin Chops with Polenta and Collard Greens

Polenta seemed to be everywhere I turned this week. Mark Bittman made a breakfast pizza with it, Anthony Bourdain came across it in one of his travels during a late-night marathon of No Reservations, and an unopened bag of cornmeal was sitting in my kitchen, originally intended for a cornbread that never happened. This creamy cornmeal dish, similar to grits, is a blank canvas for a wide range of flavors. I decided to go the simple route since it was my first time making it, choosing to flavor it with chicken stock andĀ parmesanĀ cheese. I then paired it with maple pork loin chops and collard greens for a plate of serious comfort food. Continue Reading →