10 February 2010

ramble on and eat.

stuff done: read and found more food blogs! (obviously...part of the reason i started one...i was inspired.) i have so much to do! 2 weeks, a mere 15 days and our next show, julius caesar opens at the access theater in tribeca. i'm so freaking stoked! here's a confession, i love the word stoked. its totally dumb, but its one of those words thats sort of makes me giddy. my dad has a good friend who's last name is stokes. i used to (yeah right, used to) giggle every time my dad talked about him. just mentioned the fact that he was playing golf with mr. stokes...yeah, dad (smile)? you must be totally stoked! (burst of giggles) that's so embarrassing. and silly. i have some gems that i choose to share.

seriously, i have a lot to do. there's still lines not remembered, beats to nail down, scenes to activate. work to be had...but first...the food. food glorious food!

like i said before, i've found new food blogs. while i was surfing that crazy web thing right here, there, where you're looking...i found the nervous cook. and her post about polenta made me think. i love polenta. i mean, i freaking love it. everytime i go out to eat and its mentioned in the description of a dish, that dish is immediately on my short list of what i will be eating. seriously. but, i cant make restaurant polenta. ive never been able to. i've either bought the stuff already cooked and stuffed in and vacuum packed in plastic OR made it sort of runny and soft and more like goo than anything else. until...thats right, until tonight. tonight i *almost* made restaurant polenta! it was baked and browned and creamy and rich and spicy...eet was, eh, how due you saa', magnifique! and i laid it on top of a bed of greens. collard greens, ya'll.

i sort of blended the nervous cook's meal and this one.
Baked Polenta & Greens
makes about 8 good size slices

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup olive oil (w. the 1/8 cups - i just guessed)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • good pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup organic chicken stock (if you have homemade - use that)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (this is the key i think to restaurant style polenta!!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper and saute for about 1 minute.
2. Add chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk and bring to a boil. 
3. Remove from heat and slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk (this is important, otherwise your polenta get chunky and you don't want that).
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until thick and bubbly. It will bubble a lot, its like hot lava releasing air every two seconds, so be weary of the pops, you can get burned. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan. Pour into a round cake pan (8 or 9 inches OR you can use a 9 by 13 pan, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm and cold. 
5. Turn the broiler on (rack about 5" from the heat...i dont have the luxury of aduusting my rack, so i would just make do with what you have.) and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to heat...i forgot this part...

6. Once polenta has cooled and set, invert your dish to remove and pat the polenta dry. Cut the chilled polenta like you would a pizza or cake and brush each slice with olive oil.
7. Broil until the polenta is golden brown (6-10 minutes...mine took longer than this, so just keep your eye on it.)

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch of collard greens sliced and dices (or, really, whatever you want to use!)
  • salt & pepper
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper flakes and cook until soft (3-5 minutes).
2. Add the collard greens and cook until wilted. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice; toss. 
3. Serve underneath the polenta wedges.
COOKS NOTE: again, its a lot of food. the next day i had plenty of leftovers, but not enough for 2 people, so i cut up another half of a white onion and threw in a handful of spinach, then mixed in the leftover greens...it was delightful!

1 comment:

  1. my first really serious boyfriend was named Mike Stokes. you could say that I got Stoked multiple times a week!

    ba-dum ching! (groan)

    will you come over and cook for me? that polenta looks delicious, but I'm so lazy about cooking.