Every Friday, I cook something a little special for dinner. We put our feet up and share a bottle of wine - and always have chocolate for dessert.
Sometimes, I know exactly what I will cook; the ingredients, seasonings, and final presentation all come together in a single vision. I like those days because I can relax, shop, and cook - no stress. Other days, I never do get an inspiration and we order in; it doesn't happen very often. Most Fridays, I have ingredients in mind - what's in the fridge, a craving for something - and the idea for the final dish evolves throughout the day.
Today is one of those days. I have all the ingredients I will use and some ideas, but no decisions yet.
The first ingredient is green peppers.
Hmmm. What to have with roasted peppers. Of course, polenta! I have a wonderful and easy recipe for polenta from Paula Wolfert's The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen; I have modified it slightly.
To serve 2 or 3:
3 1/2 - 4 cups water (use less for firmer polenta, more for softer)
1 cup cornmeal (organic, medium or course stoneground works very well)
1 TLBSP olive oil
1 scant tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil 8 x 8 baking dish. Put all ingredients into the baking dish and stir well (the cornmeal will settle almost immediately, but it's okay). Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let it rest for minimum 10 minutes. It has to set up or will be a bit soft.
I find it works best if I let it cool completely, then cut into squares which can be fried or heated in the oven. I love this recipe; no endless stirring. It tastes great and has a lovely texture.
Dinner is shaping up. Polenta and roasted green peppers; so far, so good.
Some tomatoes, a little sausage and I'm almost there.
Parmesan cheese, too.
This is sounding good!
The annual Beaujolais nouveau release was last week. A perfect partner for these dinner ingredients, and this year is supposed to be especially good. Hope it's not sold out. Another gamay, perhaps?