Life! It gets in the way sometimes, don’t you know?
I thought I’d share a recipe that, on top of being experimental and fun, is easy enough to be done during those in-between moments when you’re procrastinating or have found a second to breath. I saw on Foodgawker that somebody posted a picture of polenta fries and I was immediately intrigued. As you may remember from this summer, I’ve had a lot of fun with fries in the past. In fact, I got a little bit obsessed with them. But I didn’t venture far into the wide wide world of fries. In fact, I’ve never even made sweet potato fries, which seem to be the most oft-adored fry substitute. (Don’t worry, next time I get my hands on one of those babies it’s fry-time).
But anyway, I saw this bizarre thing that looked like a rustic, tasty fry, but was apparently in a wholly different realm than I had ever experienced before. Basically, it was polenta that had been formed into a rough fry shape and then baked. And that’s it! Just make polenta, give it a fry shape, and then bake the little sucker. I didn’t follow a specific recipe, just went with what seemed to work, and boy oh boy did it work. I’ve also seen that they can be fried (I suppose making them truly fries), but I decided to go the healthierish route.
So what’s the point, you may be asking? Well, for me initially it was just curiosity. What is that and can it be made in my oven? Then there was my general interest in polenta- it’s always seemed like a great meal option, I just never know what to do with it to spice it up. But once I got started, I was amazed at all the polenta fry options that could be out there… polenta is basically a blank slate that can soak up all the tasty flavors that tickle your fancy. I went with garlic and turmeric polenta fries this time, but I want to try curry ones, barbecue ones, sweet cinnamon ones… the list goes on.
Here’s the recipe. If you’re feeling curious or creative, here’s a blank canvas and a seal of approval from me at the Drunk Squash. Officially Drunk Squash approved. Go make some and snack away!
|Garlic and Turmeric Polenta Fries
Recipe type: Snack/Appetiser
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
- 3/4 cup polenta
- 3 cup water
- 3 tsp turmeric
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- Bring water to a boil.
- Stir polenta into boiling water in a steady stream.
- Add spices.
- Bring heat down to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Butter or oil or Pam a pan, then spoon polenta into it.
- Let the polenta cool and then place in fridge for at least an hour.
- After an hour (or more) remove polenta from the pan and then slice it into fry-shapes.
- Heat oven to 400F and bake polenta fries for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
Can start them one day and finish the next!
Also, the turmeric helps spice up (haha) that pretty yellow color.
It’s another Thursday where I have produce aplenty to share with you! I’ve got some repeated vegetables from last week, and then a few new ones. Also, I received two juicy peaches (one of which I immediately devoured all by itself). And I’ve got high hopes for baking that other peach. I’m completely into the idea of making a brown sugar crumble inside of it. Ah, in short I am just giddy on my post-CSA retrieval high.
So this week I got more green beans (still have to come up with something killer to do with them- I’m not good with green beans), more corn (that’s easy!), garlic, green bell peppers, and a pretty little basket of cherry tomatoes.
I already made a heartstopping salad last night with the corn and some of the tomatoes, which I will share with you soon. And tomorrow I’m making a vegetable tart for a work party. I really want to use up the basil quickly because it’s already picked, and who knows how long it will last. I could always dry some, of course, but the faster I can eat it fresh the better.
Also, I’m going to be spending some time at my parents’ house for the next two weeks or so, so I’m feeling like I should use up my stash pretty quickly and then bring the rest with me. Luckily, my planned veggie tart should handle the bell peppers, some corn, and the tomatoes. Too bad you can’t put green beans in a tart… can you? I don’t think I’m going to go there…
I also wanted to include a recipe for a meal I’ve been eating for the past week. I used up the rest of my beets and potatoes from my last Thursday Stash by making a filling, creamy, and lightly spicy Potatoes and Beets au Gratin (or Potato-Beet Casserole?). And when I say that I’ve been eating it for the past week, I really mean it. That’s no exaggeration. I made a big dish (which lasts one person for quite a while) that I haven’t gotten sick of yet. It’s eggy, cheesy, spicy, and filling. And it makes the perfect lunch, dinner, or breakfast. Here she is:
Recipe: Potatoes and Beets au Gratin
- 2 cups potatoes sliced (that was two medium potatoes and 6 small ones for me)
- 1 cup yellow beets sliced (about two medium ones for me)
- 1 white onion sliced
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (sharp white cheddar was delicious)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice your vegetables.
- Whisk eggs into the milk, and then add cheese.
- Stir in the spices.
- In a casserole dish, layer half of your potatoes, beets, and onions.
- Pour half of the egg mixture evenly over the veggies.
- Layer the rest of the potatoes, beets, and onions.
- Pour the rest of the egg mixture over the dish.
- Place in oven for about 45 minutes.
- Remove when a fork easily pokes into the potatoes and beets.
There is not a lot to the egg mixture, in fact it’s quite sparse. The idea is to have a dish that mostly features the potatoes, beets, and onions, rather than a dish that is mostly eggy. You, of course, can increase the amount of egg or milk.
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 45 min
Posted in CSA, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe
Tagged Basil, Beets, Black Pepper, Casserole, Cayenne Pepper, Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Bell Pepper, Peaches, Potatoes, Salt, Sharp White Cheddar, Turmeric
All I have to say is: Ahh it finally feels like summer! And I know that it might seem a little late to say that (especially because I’m already halfway through my summer job), but this weekend I finally did my big “one thing of the summer that’s going to suck.” Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but this was one of those requirements that sticks around in the back of your mind even in your most relaxing moments. When I lay in the sun at the pool, I couldn’t help but think that maybe I should be studying instead. So I finally took the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers) test this past Saturday and I am finally feeling free as a bird.
Of course, I wont know how I did for another month, but it’s nice to be in this blissful in-between time. Everything is out of my hands for a month, so I can just sit back, relax, and forget about the test. And that is exactly what I have been doing for the past 29 hours.
In the meantime, I think that I’m going to load up on this tasty summer food. After my “new potatoes” post, I kind feel like the crazy potato girl, so don’t roll your eyes… but whatever, everybody loves fries! And you cannot deny that they’re one of the best additions to an afternoon barbecue or lazy evening at home.
I love really crunchy desiccated fries, so I made sure to julienne the potatoes on my mandolin so that they were uniformly tiny. Then I baked the hell out of them for quite a while. Le boyfriend likes his fries to taste more like their natural form, so he takes them out earlier than I do. Either way, it’s oh-so easy to bake homemade fries. You can play around with spices too. Maybe make curry fries, or spicy fries. Hmm, I wonder if sweet fries might be in my future? Has anybody ever tried that before?
Anyways, go slice up some potatoes and experiment! Maybe bring these over to your next barbecue or just serve them alongside some lazy summer food. I promise that you’ll like them better than the fries you buy in the frozen section of the supermarket. Not to mention the fact that they take about as long as those babies to cook! It’s a win-win situation!
Now go enjoy your lovely summer! I’ll be basking in it right alongside you
Recipe Type: Snack
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Perfect addition to a summer barbecue! Easily customized to your liking, these shoestring fries are easy and delicious.
- 2 medium red potatoes
- black pepper
- sea salt
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice your potatoes and then toss them with your spices and olive oil.
- Place them in the oven and keep a watch on them. When they’re cooked to your liking, pull them out and chow down.
I love crunchy fries, so I left mine in for a loong time. Just watch the potatoes until they’re to your liking.
Also, to make your potato slices cook at a regular rate, use a mandolin to slice them all the same size.
With Falafel Burgers!
For some reason I’ve had all of these old high school songs stuck in my head. As in, the ones that I listened to over and over again when I was sixteen. For instance:
Thirteen- Wilco cover
Colorblind- Counting Crows
What’s up with that? This is not the season for the drama of Adam Duritz and his crazy dreadlocks. This is summertime and I should be revisiting a totally different genre of song!
For whatever reason my ipod is stuck on rewind, but I can tell you that my kitchen is most certainly not. Well, not completely. See, I revisited the old “utilize the rice cooker as much as possible” game, but I’ve stepped it up a notch. This time I decided to bust out the wonderful portobello (portabella?) mushroom alongside my typical rice fare. Yes, I am moving into the future.
I had a lovely large portobello in my fridge that I snuck away from my parent’s house a few weekends ago. Luckily it held up pretty well. But I guess that shouldn’t be surprising, what with it being fungus and all.
Anyways, I know that a lot of times these suckers get used as hamburger replacements for the non-meat-eaters, but since I had no buns and wasn’t really feeling burger-ey, I decided to go another route. Next time I will do some hamburger experiments, but this time I wanted to try a stuffed portobello.
Since I’ve never made one before (see, I told you, moving forward into the future despite my backward-looking music inclinations), I didn’t know that you’re supposed to take out the stem and clean out the cap. So, I guess you can’t really call it a “stuffed” portobello. But I liked the addition of the cap, and why waste perfectly good mushroom meat?
This was a completely quick and pretty hands-off recipe, which is always good by my standards. The rice takes care of itself, the onions and garlic are easy to saute, and the portobello just happily cooks away in the oven. Gives you lots of time to catch up on other vices (internet? tv? gossiping? listening to embarrassing music?).
|“Stuffed” Portobello Mushroom
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
- Portobello cap
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375F and then drizzle the portobello cap with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Stick it in the oven for about fifteen minutes.
- In the meantime, put rice, water, peppers, and salt in the rice cooker. Give it a good mix and then turn the sucker on.
- While both the rice and the portobello are cooking you can chop your onion and garlic.
- First add the onion to a pan with a drizzle of olive oil until it begins to turn translucent.
- When the onions are almost done you can add the garlic.
- When the rice is finished, throw it in the pan with the onions and garlic and mix it all up.
- Finally, pull the portobello out of the oven and put a few hardy scoops of the rice mixture right on top.
And there she is, a recipe for “stuffed” portobellos. You can always remove the stems and clean out the cap if you want to remove those quotation marks, but I actually liked the extra meatiness. It makes a really filling, delicious meal.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to old embarrassing playlists.