Saturday, May 14, 2011

rain, rain go away

It was raining again on Wednesday. And it just seemed as though every last person around was just sick of it. Maybe because the forecast for the week was supposed to (finally) be sunny and warm. Not so much. It is cold and wet and we want sunshine.

When I picked up the boy from daycare, the kids were all singing, “Rain, rain go away – come again – NEVER!” And both the boy and I were grumpy.

I was reading Ottolenghi's column and he had recipes for quick cooking polenta. While his recipes had a decidedly spring like bent, it reminded me of my oven baked polenta recipe. So I made polenta with sausage and vegetables. More of a wintery food but it seemed to be called for on a wet, chilly, grumpy Wednesday night. And I made lots so there would be filling leftovers for lunches.

Polenta (adapted from Alton Brown)
2 shallots, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
6 c vegetable broth
1 12/ c corn meal
¼ c parmesan cheese, grated

Heat the olive oil in an oven proof sauté pan. Add the shallots and heat until tender and slightly brown. Add the broth. Add the corn meal to the broth, whisking while adding. Let the mixture come to a boil. Put a lid on the pan and place in a 350 deg F oven. Bake for 40 minutes, whisking the mixture a couple of times in the baking process. Remove from the oven and mix in the cheese. Serve.

Sausage and Vegetable Cheese Sauce ( a mummydinosaur staple)
1 small onion, sliced
½ lb mild Italian sausage meat
1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
1 c of sliced mushrooms
1 c frozen peas
1 c frozen corn
2 ½ tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
420 mL milk or stock (or mixture)
½ c grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper, cayenne, worchestershire sauce

In a sauté pan, heat the sausage meat and onions until the sausage is a bit browned. Add the peppers and mushrooms and continue to cook until soft. Add the peas and corn. In a separate pan, add the butter, flour and milk/stock and heat over medium high heat, whisking until all the ingredients are incorporated. Heat to boiling and then turn the heat down to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the seasonings to taste. Add the cheese and stir well to melt it into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the sausage and vegetable mix and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.

To serve with the polenta, plop a couple of big serving spoonfuls of polenta in the bottom of a bowl and pour a similar amount of the sausage and vegetable sauce over the top. Serve hot with extra cheese if desired.

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