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Chicken and Mushroom Ragu on Herb Polenta

December 6, 2016

Delicious chicken stew over polenta…

  • 1 pound chicken thighs, skinned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup pancetta, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat a saucepan with the olive oil on high. Add the pancetta and sauté for a minute. Brown the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes of each side. Sprinkle salt while browning. Take the chicken pieces out and keep aside.

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt

Add the herbs in the pancetta mixture with the mushrooms. Saute on high heat till the mushrooms have cooked down including the excess liquid. Add the shallot and garlic. Saute for a minute and add the flour. Cook the flour for a minute and add the red wine. Scrape all the brown bits off the bottom and add the chicken broth. Add the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Take the lid off and make sure the chicken is tender and juicy. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil and cook till the dish reaches desired consistency.

Herb Polenta with Gruyere

  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup aged Gruyere cheese, grated

Bring the milk and broth. Add the herbs and salt. Slowly add the polenta whisking at the same time, stirring till it thickens. Turn the heat off and add the cheese. Mix well and check for seasonings. Serve with the chicken and mushroom ragu.

Spinach Polenta with Short Ribs

December 23, 2014

I have now made a few polenta dishes where I have added a bunch of different ingredients to make them a bit different. I realized that polenta is like any other starch and I can go crazy with all the different aromatics or vegetables I can add to it.

In this case I was making the short ribs and wanted to keep it simple and serve it on top of polenta. Both my husband and I love polenta. My daughter on the other hand, is not a big fan. In fact the last time I made it, she asked not to give it to her ever again. I am okay with her not wanting to eat polenta- she is such a good eater and everyone has a few things they don’t like- although I can’t think of a thing I would have on that list.

Anyway, I started with shallots and garlic and added baby spinach. I then added chicken broth and milk. The polenta was made in no time. I topped it with some cheese and that was it. I made it simple for myself by adding baby spinach to the starch- I didn’t have to make a salad or a vegetable on the side.

The polenta was delicious with the short ribs- creamy and earthy with the rich meat.

  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the baby spinach and sauté till it is wilted and cooked down. Keep aside.

  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1½ cups milk
  • Salt
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Add the liquids to the spinach mixture and bring to a boil. Add salt and the polenta. Cook according to instructions on the polenta package. Add the cheese and serve.

Indian Style Polenta

May 29, 2013

Polenta is a very easy, healthy and quick starch to make. Like rice, it is very versatile and anything and everything can be added to make it yummier. I have made quite a few different kinds in the past.

I made this one Indian style to serve with the fish curry. I started with mustard seeds and curry leaves. I also added a couple of different kinds of lentils for a nice crunch and I also included peanuts.

My original idea was to cook the polenta in coconut milk and chicken broth but then I realized I was out of coconut milk. Instead I cooked it with my normal mixture of milk and chicken broth- both the liquids ensure yummy flavor in the dish.. and this dish was extremely yummy.

The only person who doesn’t like polenta in the house is my daughter. I made her some rice on the side. She does not enjoy the texture of polenta… but I love it…

  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 to 5 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoons white moong dal
  • 1 tablespoons channa dal
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, moong dal, channa dal and peanuts. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté for a minute. Add the broth and milk with the salt. Bring to a boil and add the polenta. Follow package instructions to cook the polenta. Taste for seasonings and serve with the fish curry.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage with Herbed Polenta

March 11, 2012

Butternut Squash and Sausage with Polenta

I saw this dish on Rachel Ray’s show. I can’t remember exactly what she did but it definitely inspired this recipe. I love buying the already cut up butternut squash from Trader Joes– I can’t help myself- I just pick it up. The problem is, my daughter is not a big fan- she doesn’t care for the texture. I get it- everyone has something they don’t like.. so I don’t push it.

I love the healthy, orange vegetable. I especially like it with sausage. I roasted the squash and an apple chicken sausage I got from Trader Joes as well. In case you didn’t guess, I am at TJs almost everyday.

I made herbed polenta which is the easiest starch to make. Try this dish- very easy to make…

  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound cooked chicken sausages (apple and chardonnay), sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Transfer the squash, sausage, garlic, rosemary, sage, salt and olive oil to a lined cookie sheet. Roast till the squash is tender and sausage is warmed through- about 40 minutes, while tossing one time in between. Drizzle the balsamic glaze, mix well. Keep aside.

Herbed Polenta

  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons sage, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Add the milk, broth (you may need to adjust quantity according to your polenta package instructions), sage, rosemary, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil and cook according to instructions. Once the polenta is done, add salt and cheese. Serve with the roasted squash and sausage.

Indian Style Spinach Polenta

November 29, 2011

South Indian Fish Curry1 I have to give full credit to my husband for coming up with this idea. While we were discussing what to make for dinner and came up with the fish curry- we were wondering what to serve it with.

My husband loves polenta and he suggested I make it with the fish- but I wasn’t sure since when I think of polenta- Italian cuisine comes to mind… but then I thought, I could make the polenta Indian style. Hmm- as I sat on the train, I began envisioning the polenta. I thought I would start with curry leaves and mustard seeds. Lemon rice came to mind and so I decided to add some nuts for texture. Instead of cooking the polenta with milk and broth, I decided to cook it with just broth and eliminate the cheese. I also wanted to add a vegetable to balance the dish- frozen spinach- perfect!!!

The result was amazing- why didn’t I think of this before??? Sky is the limit when it comes to what all I can add to the polenta. It was delicious with the fish curry- great combination. The spinach was delicious and so were the pistachios- and it was so quick to make.

Next time you are looking for a side dish- think polenta and let your imagination run wild….

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 cup fine one minute polenta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon

Heat a medium pan with the olive oil. Add the mustard seeds, nuts and curry leaves. Saute for a minute on medium heat. Add the chicken broth and spinach. Bring to a boil and add salt and polenta. Whisk till thick and smooth. Taste for seasonings and add lemon juice. Serve with fish curry.

Spinach Polenta

October 19, 2011

Shrimp in Poblano Sauce and Spinach Polenta This dish can be served on its own- not just as a  side… it is that substantial and delicious. I decided a while ago to experiment with polenta- to me it is like a blank canvas.. one can add anything to it to enhance the flavor.

For this one, I sauteed raisins and pine nuts in some olive oil. I then added thawed, chopped spinach and cooked it down for a bit. It was then time to add the a mixture of chicken broth and milk and the delicious polenta. I cooked it and seasoned it with salt and cheese- that was it. It took no time to make the dish but it was amazing with the shrimp dish.

Try it next time you are confused about making a side dish…
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Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sausage Served On Polenta

July 18, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli on PolentaThis was a great dish I made up the other day. It was one of those days where I had no idea what I was going to make. I looked in my fridge and I had half a cauliflower and a bag of broccoli. As usual, I had sausage in the fridge as well. I took all of those ingredients out and decided to use them for an entree. I roasted them with a drizzle of olive oil until everything was golden brown and delicious. I then added the sweet pepper and tomato sauce to the veggies and sausage and made a delicious concoction.

I could have served it with al dente pasta but I thought of something different- how about polenta?? I had not made polenta in a very long time so I wasn’t sure if I had it in my pantry. I found just enough for the evenings dinner. A lot of people buy the pre-made polenta in a large tube. I don’t think that stuff tastes really good. Make it fresh- it is super simple and delicious. I used a combination of chicken broth, milk, parmesan cheese and a bit of butter. It took all of 10 minutes to make, and I had a delicious, healthy starch to serve for dinner.

I served the vegetables and sausage on top of the warm, creamy polenta. It was unbelievably delicious. It took a bit of convincing for my daughter to try the dish. It was the first time she tried polenta and ate it- I am not sure how happy she was, but she ate it.

Try the roasted cauliflower, broccoli and sausage on polenta- you will love it.
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