Tag Archives: Polenta

recipe goodness :: community grains lazy sunday red flint polenta integrale

A Lazy Polenta

A Lazy Polenta

Well, by the sound of that title it sure does sound like I made something super fancy doesn’t it? Truth is Polenta integrale is the traditional Italian term for ‘whole milled’, meaning the whole corn kernel is coarse-milled together with nothing sifted out, offering a beautiful, rustic texture and hearty, full-flavor that lends itself as the perfect accompaniment to traditional ragús & savory braises, or just butter and cheese.

It just so happens that we’re selling this polenta {quite honestly the best I’ve ever had} in the Food52 Shop. Near extinct, this rare variety of corn was re-discovered in 2000 near the town of Trento in northern Italy. Lucky for us, it is currently in very limited production in the United States.  Here’s the kind of thing you can always have in your pantry and make a lazy, but outstanding Sunday supper out of just about anything you can throw in or on top of it. Polenta is your leftovers friend. And with this whole milled rustic version you’ll transport yourself to nonna’s table with a few stirs of a pot.

Rustic Polenta Integrale

Rustic Polenta Integrale

Lazy Sunday Polenta Integrale
Serves 2-3

1 cup polenta integrale
4 cups water
1 tablespoon butter {optional}
Salt to taste

Toppings or flavor inspiration: 

Rosemary, thyme or any fresh herb, chopped
Chopped red chili for a small kick
Sauteed mushrooms or grated truffles
Sauteed scallion
Leftover pasta sauce or ragu
Leftover grilled vegetables
Dollop of ricotta or goat cheese {let’s be honest, this is a must!}
Grilled or pan seared sausage
A poached egg!
Anything your heart desires

  1. Bring water and polenta to a gentle simmer in a heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Simmer on low for an hour, stirring regularly to prevent sticking on bottom of pot. Add herbs or red chili at this time, if desired. Go read a book.
  3. After an hour cover with a lid and turn heat off to allow polenta to absorb water. Go reorganize your closet.
  4. Add a pat of butter and kosher salt to taste. Stir and bring to a slow simmer to reheat. The consistency should be perfect, but if it’s too thick, add a bit of water to make it easy to stir, but still thick and hearty.
  5. Scoop into a bowl, top with cheese and anything you feel like eating.

Nonna-Worthy:
Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce: Channeling My Italian Grandmother
Homemade Ricotta
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg 
Braised Grass-Fed Beef Brisket and Polenta

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recipe goodness :: braised grass-fed beef brisket and polenta

Braised Grass-fed Brisket and Polenta

It’s Superbowl weekend and you’re looking for an alternative to just another bowl of chili? Why not delight your pigskin party pals with a warm, rich bowl of polenta and braised brisket. The best thing about this dish is you can throw it all in a pot and let it cook for a few hours {or make the day before!}, while you enjoy the TV ads and a few brews. Of course, this dish is perfect for any cold winter night and doesn’t have to be saved for the big game — the bonus is it gets better with age, so leftovers are supreme.

Braised Brisket

Braised Grass-Fed Beef Brisket and Polenta

Serves 8-10 | Preheat Oven 350º

5-6 pounds grass fed brisket {I love Grazin’ Acres}
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 bottle red wine
14 ounces fire-roasted whole tomatoes and juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
water
polenta
parmesan for grating

Braised Brisket Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water.
  2. Cut round piece of parchment with a quarter-sized hole in the middle to fit inside the pot on top of your ingredients before putting into the oven. This will prevent the sauce from cooking down too much.
  3. Season brisket well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large, heavy pot (I used a 7.5-qt. enameled cast iron dutch oven) over medium heat until shimmering. Brown brisket for 2-3 minutes per side, then set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat from pot {using grass-fed beef, which is leaner may not leave much excess fat}, then sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  4. Create a hot spot in the pot by moving vegetables aside and leaving about a 3-inch radius bare. Add tomato paste to the hot spot and stir vigorously until caramelized, then stir into the vegetables. Add red wine to deglaze and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms and soaking liquid (minus the last 1/4 inch to keep sediment out of your dish), plus herbs.
  5. Add brisket to pot, fat side up and fill with water until brisket is nearly covered. Bring liquid to a boil, then cover with the round parchment paper and tight fitting lid and braise in oven for at least 3 hours or until brisket is fall-apart tender.
  6. Remove brisket from liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bay leaves and discard. While brisket is cooling, skim fat off surface and then purée the braising liquid with an immersion blender until thick and set over medium-low heat to reduce if the sauce seems thin. When brisket has cooled down, discard large pieces of fat, then shred the beef and return it to the pot.
  7. Brisket can either be served immediately or refrigerated overnight. The next day, remove additional fat from the surface before reheating.
  8. When serving, cook polenta per package instructions.
  9. Add polenta to serving dish, topped with braised brisket and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Adapted from Minimally Invasive for food52.com

And a Side Of…:
Red Chili-Lime Cornbread Muffins
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries
Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Breadcrumbs
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}

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The Art of Brunching Well @ L’Artusi

L'Artusi Bloody Mary

It was not long ago that I was raving about my dinner at L’Artusi, the attractive, open-kitchen Italian spot tucked down one of those non-perpendicular West Village streets.  So when they asked me to come preview their newly created Brunch menu before the public unveiling this Sunday {October 17}, I couldn’t help but spread the love again. I am an encourager of exemplary eating establishments. When I have a great meal, I want you to know about it. I want you to go. Tomorrow! So pick up the phone, make a reservation {212.255.5757} and then keep reading.

Every good brunch deserves a bloody mary. And every good bloody mary deserves some “hmpf”. What I mean by that is I want spice and all sorts of goodies in my Sunday cocktail — I want veggies, I want olives, I want lots of little bits floating around giving me that liquid-salad-with-a-kick kind of feeling. Because frankly, if I’m drinking on a Sunday morning {thank you Tippling Bros.}, I need to feel like I’m getting some sort of nutritional benefit. L’Artusi’s Mary does just that — and with a cherry, err, pancetta cube on top.

Graciously our very helpful server also suggested we start with the bread basket. This isn’t just any roll and butter basket. This is a collection of seasonal, bready goodness — a cranberry muffin, cherry scone and some dark, nutty bread that I couldn’t get enough of. All served with a side of whipped, soft, creamy butter and a lovely plum jam.

L'Artusi Bread Basket

My favorite of the two mains we ordered was the Eggs Florentine. We already know my obsession with eggs,and that I assert high expectations for any egg dish that I order at a restaurant. And this exceeded them ten-fold. Served on crispy polenta {clever Italian substitute to the ‘ole english muffin} with lovely, bright green spinach and a perfectly poached egg that oozed creamy, golden goodness, the florentine was then lovingly topped with a tomato-hollandaise, again adding a unique flavor profile and twist to the classic preparation.

L'Artusi Eggs Florentine

We were also treated to an unexpected dish that has my vote for best contender on the menu. The Polenta Amatriciana is probably best shared between two people because of its richness. A bowl of polenta {that I’m sure has no shortage of butter in it} is topped with the same amatriciana sauce that graces their bucatini on the dinner menu. This stuff is amazing — a combination of tomato, pancetta and red chilis, it is smoky and slightly spicy. What else would you want on top of a bowl of creamy polenta? An egg? Yes, I thought so — a perfect poach floats on top of this bed of delight, just waiting to be broken open so all the eggy yumminess can swim around with all the other flavors. And to really round this out, the entire dish is finished with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

L'Artusi Polenta Amatriciana

How about the sides? You can’t go wrong with the pancetta bacon or the super crispy rosemary potatoes. I agree with the person verbally singing the praises of that pancetta bacon and if you need a little crispy, salty potato to soak up your Saturday night, well then you’ve found them!

“This the the best bacon I’ve ever eaten in my life” — overheard @ L’Artusi

The Skim: And that, my friends, was a brunch worth sharing. I expect L’Artusi’s sunday brunch will be just as popular as their dinner is, but even if you can’t manage to get a reservation, you are always welcome to walk in and eat on the really comfy stools at the bar or start with one of their creative morning cocktails or fresh juices while you wait.

Map228 west 10th {btw Hudson & Bleecker}
Reservations: Taken!
Phone: 212-255-5757


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I ♥ Eggs Too:
The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi
A Better Brooklyn Breakfast @ Dizzy’s Finer Diner
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare
Weekend Brunch: Eat Eggs @ Edward’s
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table

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