Polenta

•March 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

While I have been waiting to start my food blog/catering website, I have been working on several recipes.  My Aunt Chrissy, darling woman who make beautiful cakes at Sweet Escapades in New York, asked me for a polenta recipe.  I can’t think of a better time to start throwing some of my recipes into the world.

P1040490

Caramelized Butternut Squash on Polenta Cake with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Makes: 6
preparing time:
polenta: 1 hour (for chilling)
cooking time:
Butternut squash: 30 minutes
Onions: 1 hour
polenta: 1 hour
Sauce: 40 minutes

Total time: 2 hours

Caramelized Butternut Squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
butternut squash, cut in 1 inch disks and peeled
½ white onion, sliced thinly

Polenta cakes
3 cups water
1 cup polenta
¼ olive oil

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
3 red peppers
4 garlic cloves
¼ leek (not necessary but delicious)
4 tablespoons coconut milk
salt

Turn your oven on to 425°.  Place butternut squash disks at least ¼ inch apart in oiled baking pan and cover with aluminum foil or pan cover.  Cook for 30 minutes.  The bottom side should be slightly brown.  In addition to roasting the butternut squash, you will be roasting the red peppers.  Place them in a bit of oil in a covered baking pan.  You will also cook these for 30 minutes or until slightly before charred.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on low and add the onions.  Cook these for 1 hour or until slightly brown and caramelized.  Keep the heat on low as to not burn them.

Boil 3 cups of water in a large saucepan.  Add the polenta slowly (I used a funnel) while whisking the mixture.  Once the polenta is added, reduce the heat to low and continue whisking.  Whisk until the corn is cook through and the mixture has the consistency of thick grits (or porridge).   This could take 30 minutes.  Taste some of it to make sure there is no crunchiness to it.   Spread the polenta in a baking or casserole dish making sure the polenta is approximately 1 ½ inches deep.  If you dishes or too big for this, you could double your recipe and save the left over polenta for another meal.  Let the polenta cool completely.  This could take an hour.

Meanwhile, now would be a great time to make the roasted red pepper sauce.  If you have a Vitamix, you can throw everything in but the stems (and any charred skin) and blend until smooth.  If you are using a regular blender, douse the roasted red pepper in cold water promptly after removing them from the oven.  This will ease the removal of the skins.  Also remove the stems and seeds.

Once the polenta has cooled, it is time to start panfrying them.  Cut out cakes with either a biscuit cutter or you can cut squares with a knife.  Cover the bottom of the pan with oil at least 1/8  – ¼ inch deep and heat at medium low.  Fry each side of the polenta cakes to a light brown.

Assemble the towers.  Place the polenta on the plate.   Next place one butternut squash disk.  Drizzle a small ladleful of the roasted red pepper sauce on the butternut squash.  Garnish with a heaping tablespoon of caramelized onions.

NOTE:  Goes great with roasted leeks.
DOUBLE NOTE: If you made the double batch of polenta for future use, you can easily mold and remold the polenta to other shapes.  Squish it in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.  You can also pre-shape your cakes and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Advertisements

In the grass

•June 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In the grass

S.O.P.A. and P.I.P.A

•January 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

██ ████████ ██████ ██████████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████████ ██.  ███ ███ ██████████ ██ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ██████████ ██ ███ ███ ███ This comment have been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A and Senate Bill 968, P.I.P.A. and has been removed.

A Punk Without a Safety Pin

•December 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday was a most impressive day. But I do have to start with a week prior to bring us to my surprise. It starts at an OBGYN appointment. I go in looking for advice to start the process of becoming pregnant; you know, what vitamins can I take, what medicines can’t I take, and is my uterus going to take. Woah, the more I type the more I realize that I need to back up. But I won’t, I will fill in as needed. See a few weeks prior to this I went in for my annual physical; I have never done this before. The nurse suggested that my general practitioner do my pap while I was there. The doctor came in, and we talked about my goal of pregnancy and she decided I would go test the waters and find an OB that I like. She still did my breast exam and sent me off for my blood tests. I left with a few names of great OBs and started researching the web for testimonials. The doctor that seemed to have the most praise was and is booked for ever. I was able to get one of her sidekicks. This woman has a normal last name…one of those WASP last names, so I was a bit apprehensive. I need to clarify, I have many cousins and friends with good ‘ol American common last names and my nervousness is not due to my faith in their ability but in the confusion it may ensue on other’s involved…ie. which Dr. Such and Such? We have 3 on this floor with the same name. This doctor is a nice woman. She was excited to hear that I am trying to get pregnant and she let me know that everything is going to be alright. I am in my 30’s, my period has become unpredictable, I donated eggs twice, and both my mom and sister have fibroids. All of this causes a bit of anxiety in a lady. She tells me that we will try to go natural for 6 months and if nothing happens we will discuss another pan of action at that time. She checks my breasts and asks “how long has this been here?” Pause. I make up something “I am not sure, but not more than 3 months.” I may or may not have felt s lump a few months ago, I thought it was a normal lumpy boob, but now that I am guided towards it, this is not a lumpy boob lump. Hence, I have no idea if I ever noticed this before, and why didn’t my general practitioner find it 3 weeks ago? It must be a cyst. The doctor says not to worry. She checks my uterus. “This is a little swollen. It could be a fibroid hanging.” I am sent home with 2 orders for ultrasounds and a third for blood work for hormones to be taken the third day of my period.

This actually happened in June. I never posted.

Final Project Due Tonight

•March 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I am totally nervous about presenting my unfinished final project tonight. My project is an animation that I have made in After Effects and edited it in Final Cut. No sound has been laid down yet. It is my hope to get some of that done during the 2 hours before class.

This has been such a dramatic quarter for me. I broke both feet and then my grandfather passed away. I missed class twice due to these events. The third class I missed was due to the Let’s Pet performance. The Professor gave me a week extension to complete my project. You may get to see my final project next week on youtube. The unfinished one will be up tonight.

Anyhow, for anyone out there…please cross your fingers for me. I would love to get into the MFA program, and am not excited to disappoint any of the professors.

The House

•March 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Oh yes, so we have a house. I am so excited to start working on the house now that spring is approaching. Chicago’s icy chill lifter and has left behind a dewy trail and muddy mess. The garden may have to wait until a bit of dryness occurs. The house though, oh the house, will undergo an interior demolition and reconstruction that will confuse and displace all ghosts from yesteryear.

Meanwhile, the ghosts are there. Throwing me down the stairs and turning on sinks in the ghost world. Yes, I hear sinks turning on and off, showers started and baths run. Yet, no water comes from my fixtures are running. Heavy footsteps walk throughout the day and night. I also tend to hear doors opening and closing. Yet, they are not moving. These sounds are echoing through time.

I recently found out that the house was built on a river. Apparently if I wander the neighborhood I will find the dam. It was been too cold and I have been too busy to wonder.

This is the end of my thought.

Introducing Let’s Pet

•February 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Loading in has a way of helping me concentrate on the night to come. Building the kit keeps me closer to my instrument. Because of these much needed assets, I did not go to class last night. The original idea was that the boys would load in and sound check without me. I am so glad that did not happen. The night could have been disastrous. Snare drum facing the wrong way, stand adjusted to Mr. Tall Guy’s  height, too much guitar and not enough bass in the monitors: the list could go on.

Monday night was our first show as Let’s Pet. Sitting on the drum throne I could see familiar faces plagued with intrigue from the audience and uncertain expressions from band mates. Teith is dead and Let’s Pet has risen. We bring songs of distortion made by a freight train of keyboards. The drums act to only bring the listener to the internal rhythm of them band while standing on the cliff of the Black Rock.

The first song started with a lonely flute driven by the melodic sounds. With a swift approach, a massive wave of keys and strings achieved their attempt at sneaking up on the audience and trampling their ears. The wave fell back again and the ringing from chimes was left as a reminder that you should have worn your earplugs.

This is the way of the Let’s Pet.

Know your enemies.