Polenta with a Kinda-Fall Summer RaguPosted: September 14, 2011
So I did my first CSA shift today and ugh. I was left for the first half hour with the cool parents and their screaming faux hawked fresh from charter school kids. I was charged with fixing the tare on the scale after the kids would mess it up. Finally, after I thought there was no way I could stand here for an hour and a half, I was given the clipboard to check off names. Yay. Something better to do. And all the kids were gone. This whole routine let me exhausted so I skipped the gym for a glass of wine.
I decided to make something out of nothing, meaning I had some produce that needed attention: summer squash shitake mushrooms and a very ripe tomato. A summer Ragu with a nod to fall with some white truffle oil I just procured for the florentine eggs I still have not made cuz I need to get ramekins and can’t decide if 10 oz is the right size. And they are white. I don’t want white. *sigh* yuppie problems.
What I used:
1/2 lb Shitake Mushrooms – yep, I actually bought loose ones and chopped
1 large Yellow Summer Squash, Zucchini would be nice for color here as well. whatever you have
2 ripe Tomatoes
4 huge Garlic Cloves
Crushed Red Pepper
Flat Leaf Parsley
Sea salt, I used the red Hawaiian that I just busted out, but use whatever
1 cup Polenta, seriously, just get the De la Estancia already.
3 cups Veg Broth
1oz Saint Andre cheese
White Truffle Oil
What I did:
Chop the squash, mushrooms and garlic. Heat a large pan and add some crushed red pepper, then the olive oil. Not a lot. Just like a tablespoon or so to coat the pan. Put in the veg you chopped and add some black pepper. Turn the heat to medium
Chop the tomato and add to the pan. Add some salt to taste
Put your broth in a saucepan and turn to low to get it heated. Go dink around occasionally checking on the veg. In my case I stepped out on the balcony.
I picked some oregano and went back in to check on it and give it a stir. Make a simple salad if you want one. I did. This involved putting the box of baby greens in a bowl and taking out the lemon juice/olive oil i already had made earlier. It needed to come up to temp though.
Go check on the veg. They are getting done so deglaze the pan with some wine. I used this sweet kosher Australian Moscoto wine I accidentally bought because I was a dumb but found it kinda mimics sherry it is not total Manischewitz, but yeah, use sherry or regular white, or maybe you accidentally bought the Teal Lakes Moscoto too as someone deigned to rate it a 91. Umm, yeah.
Add the oregano leaves. Just pick them off and add to the pan. No need to chop. If you have some thyme, add that. I like mushrooms and thyme. I may have added some lemon thyme cuz I was growing it but I’m not going to say to do that here. It`s done, turn it to low and turn up the burner on the broth to boil:
Add the dressing to the salad if you are making one and go pick some flat leaf parsley because you just realized you wanted that. Maybe because of the lemon thyme thing, but add anyway.
Taste the veg and add salt and pepper if you need it. Just take a scissors and snip in the parsley to both the veg and to the boiling water. Cut a 1 oz piece off the Saint Andre.
Pour in the cup of polenta to the boiling broth while whisking, whisk for a couple minutes. I set the timer to 5 min but it will only take 3. Ignore these polenta directions if you insist on not using the de la estancia brand cuz it will take longer and be more fussy. (De la Estancia people: call me, I keep hawking you). So if you go your way on the polenta brand, make your polenta on their directions and since it will take longer, prolly make that prior to the veg as that only takes 10 min.
Add the cheese to the done polenta and stir it til it’s done. Plate it all and sprinkle with more oregano and snips of flat parsley. Add a very small drizzle of truffle oil over the plates of each to make it kinda fall and more mushroomy/ass-y. Watch he husbands eyes light up in fear of the truffle oil smell and thoughts of overpowering, but just know he’s wrong. And he is. And will admit it in a sec.
Wait for real fall weather to come at the end of the week.