Friday, May 1, 2015

Rosie Makes Breakfast. Sautéed Polenta Squares.

Sometimes, I have to plan tomorrow's breakfast today.
Such is the case for Saturday morning breakfast.
It started Friday afternoon.

I had a hankerin' for fried polenta cakes.

Polenta, a cousin to grits, is essentially cornmeal porridge.
And it's comfort food at its finest.

Don't look for a bag marked "polenta."
Any type of cornmeal will do.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
14.5 oz can chicken stock
13.7 oz carton vegetable stock
1 1/2 - 2 cups water
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 TB fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Bring stocks and about 1 cup water to a boil.
Slowly whisk in cornmeal
and stir until the mixture is smooth and comes to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered,
stirring every five minutes or so for about an hour.
You want it to barely bubble every few seconds or so.
Add extra water, if your mixture seems too thick.
Be sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom and scorch.
You want a thoroughly smooth texture.

Salt, to taste, and stir in butter, cream, Parmesan, and sage.
At this point you can let the polenta rest over indirect heat,
say a double boiler, for 30 minutes up to a few hours.
This allows the grains of cornmeal
to absorb as much moisture and fat as they can
which makes for an exceptionally creamy and tender polenta.
This polenta would be quite lovely right now
with some sautéed mushrooms and greens,
but I have bigger plans for my polenta.
I'm saving it for breakfast tomorrow.
Pour the polenta into two 8-inch dishes, 
cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Fast forward to breakfast.
Slice the polenta into squares
and sauté over medium high heat
 in 1 TB unsalted butter and 1 TB peanut oil,
until golden brown on both sides.

Cornmeal into boiling water.
Stir until smooth.
Reduce to bare simmer.
After an hour of bare simmer and stirring every 5 minutes,
add in the cream, butter, and Parmesan.

Pour into two dishes, cover, and refrigerate.
I made one with sage and one without for people that are scared of green.

Sautéed polenta squares with bacon and eggs.

I love the juxtaposition of crisp and creamy.

No comments: