Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Parmesan Polenta with Grilled Endive and Balsamic Vinegar


The polenta on its own - sure! But grilling the endive like this is not recommended. This is my first time cooking (maybe even eating too now that I think about it) endive so I wasn't quite sure what I was in for as I grabbed the plastic wrapped leafy vegetable from the grocery store shelf. Well in case you haven't had endive either, it's a rather bitter green. I knew it was somewhat bitter to begin with, but I didn't exactly know how bitter. I imagined the sweetness from the balsamic vinegar would offset this, but some things can only go so far. So next time I would either do more than just simply grilling it (such as sweating it in butter to soften the leaves and then adding various flavorings) or chop it up so that the grill can effect more surface of the vegetable to get more the the grilled flavor.

Prepare the polenta according to the instructions on the package, season with salt and pepper, and stir in some butter and parmesan cheese. Be sure to think about how much you want to prepare and measure, measure, measure! I wasn't paying attention when I put the liquid in the pot and accidentally ended up with A LOT of polenta (but there are definitely worse things in life). So if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, be sure to pour the polenta into a large baking pan because it will solidify as it cools and then you can just cut it into little squares to use later (hint-hint: they will show up in a later post). I then just threw the endive on my grill pan au naturel, placed it on top of a bowl of the polenta and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Macaroni and Peas: The Case of the Clandestine Vegetables

I love incorporating vegetables into various other dishes. As much as I can enjoy stuff that's good for you on its own, it's always nice to mix it with something bad. Doesn't that make them cancel each other out as if you didn't eat anything at all? I think that's how it works...

Anywho... all you do is make macaroni and cheese and throw in some peas with the noodles and such and voila! This is probably a good way to force vegetables on any picky eaters you might come across.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

French Onion Soup Steak w/Roasted Broccoli

Now I'm sure you're thinking "What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is 'French onion soup steak?'" Well, it's what happens when you have left over French onion soup from culinary class and don't really know what to do with it. The main ingredients are onions, red wine or port, and beef stock - sure sounds like the makings of a delicious steak sauce to me! Just add the steak and maybe some sliced mushrooms, and BAM! (It appears that Emeril is subconsciously influencing my life and I don't even watch his television show - proof of the power of good marketing.) Also, I must say that roasted broccoli is one of my new favorite vegetable side dishes. It's one of the simplest ways to prepare the miniature green, tree-like organisms, and also one of the most delicious.

Season the steak with salt and pepper and sear in vegetable oil for a couple of minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and proceed to saute sliced mushrooms seasoned with salt and pepper until they develop some nice color. Add the leftover soup and place the steak back in the pan. Let it all hang out together for a couple of minutes so the meat can absorb some of the flavors form the sauce.

Moving on... 1) Cut the broccoli into mini florets. 2) Drizzle with olive oil. 3) Season with salt and pepper. 4) Toss to coat evenly. 5) Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until it develops a slight char.

Add rice and eat.