Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

breaded polenta cutlets

This is one of my new favorite recipes. It is from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classic cookbook. (I have only changed the original slightly by omitting ground fennel.) I served these with potato parsnip gratin, green beans and a salad. The kids chose to dip them in ketchup (big surprise), and I found they were great as leftovers too.

1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornmeal or dried polenta
1 cup chopped onions
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 cup herbed bread crumbs
(to make your own breadcrumbs pulverize stale or lightly toasted whole wheat, sourdough, or french bread in a blender or food processor. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, and marjoram, and add a dash of salt and black pepper)

1. Bring the salt and water to a boil. Gradually pour in the cornmeal and stir briskly with a whisk until the polenta begins to thicken. Lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta tastes done.

2. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic in the oil on medium heat for about 7 minutes. Remove the cooked polenta from the heat. Stir in the onion/garlic mixture, and if using , the cheese. Add salt to taste.

3. Pour the hot polenta onto an oiled baking tray or 10 inch pie pan to about 3/4 inch thick. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The polenta will thicken as it cools. *Side note - Polenta can be refrigerated for 3-4 days so you could always do this step one day and finish the dish another.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

5. In a large bowl, whisk the egg until foamy and then whisk in the milk. Place the bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. With a table knife, cut the cooled polena into squares, rectangles, diamonds, or other shapes. Line up in order the pan of cutlets, the egg mixture, the bread crumbs, and the oiled baking sheet.

6. Lift one cutlet at a time with a spatula and dip it into the egg mixture. A light coating of egg is best, so gently shake off the excess. Then dip each cutlet in the bowl of bread crumbs and coat well. Arrange the breaded cutlets on the baking sheet about one inch apart.

7. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown on both sides, turning once after about 20 minutes.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Big step

I have talked about my love of writing poetry here before. I have been writing since I was very young. I was very active in college by reading and performing at special events, taking poetry writing classes, and I was even published twice in the literary magazine published by the school. Since college though I have not publicly read or submitted my work. I recently stumbled upon a local event happening here in Burlington called F@#* Valentines Day poetry night. I have decided the time is right. I am going for it. I plan on attending and signing up to read. Last night I pulled out some of my older notebooks and my final portfolio I did for my last poetry class. Reading my professors final words gave me the inspiration I needed to do this. Her final statement was "You will be a strong writer if you want to be. Keep reading and keep writing." I am not sure why I have put this on the back burner but it is time to move it to the front.

At first I started to stress about how I would pick just one to be my first. Then it hit me and I just knew. I have waited 15 years to read this one particular poem and I can't wait!

wish me luck!