Sunday, July 27, 2014

Welcome & Breakfast Polenta

Hi and welcome to my new blog!  I'm going to mainly write about cooking at home, and using this to record and share my "recipes."  I used quotation marks around "recipes" because I don't normally write stuff down in the kitchen, and I rarely measure anything exactly -- that's one thing you have to know about me in the first place.  I think cooking is a great way to experiment, refine, and be creative.  So, if I do list any measurements, it's just for some degree of reference, not an exact thing.

This morning I thought I might make some polenta for breakfast.  The kids had never had it before, and I know its one of Robyn's favorites.  Another thing you will come to find out -- Robyn has a lot of top 5 favorites.  If you don't know, Robyn is my wife.  So I had some of these little onions left over from a spicy curry coconut milk soup I made last night, and I thought the sweetness of these cooked onions might go really well with the corn polenta.  That's another thing about me -- every once in a while I come up with a pretty good idea about flavors going together.

Okay so let's get started.  The first thing you do is make some polenta.  In my case, I had to make enough for 4-5 people.  If you don't know, here are the steps to make polenta if you don't want to follow the directions on the package:

  1. Boil water.  The amount will depend on how much polenta you want to make.  The good news is -- you can't screw this ratio up, because if it turns out you need more polenta or water, just add it.  So just eyeball it and move on.  One more thing about me -- I am a firm believer in cooking decisiveness.  Sometimes mistakes lead to something even better than what you originally had planned.
  2. Put some salt in there.  The same way you do for pasta.  This might not really do anything, might just be some old cooking voodoo, I don't know.  Just put some salt in there.
  3. Now that the water is really boiling, take it off the heat.
  4. Stir in the polenta until it doesn't look too watery anymore.  This is the critical moment where you can screw up the whole thing.  Don't just dump all your polenta in the water and leave it to go find a spoon to stir with or anything.  Have your spoon ready to go in one hand, and pour with the other while you stir.  Stop adding when you don't see a bunch of juicy water slashing around anymore -- leave some room because it will thicken up.  Like I said in #1, if it gets too thick, just add more water.
So at this point the polenta is still really hot and retains heat very well on account of it just being ground up corn, so it is ideal to cook some vegetables in without overcooking them.  This is where I added:

  • 2 cups of cut up mushrooms
  • 2 cups of cut up onions into really small pieces
  • 1 cup of grated parmeasean cheese
  • salt/pepper
Stir all that in, then cover it up and let it sit.  You can add whatever you want -- bell pepper is great, eggs, 7 cheese blend, what ever you think might be good.  Be creative.

Meanwhile, using a pan and some vegetable oil, I browned up some diced chicken sausage for the meat-eaters.  Add this in after the non-meat-eaters get their bowls scooped up.

It's time to eat!  Once you bowl it, go ahead and add some Cholula hot sauce & parsley if you're feeling hot or fancy.  Or both.

Sorry for the crumby picture -- my official photographer (Robyn) hasn't started yet :)


  1. Oh I am excited to see you do a cooking blog! I' m gonna try your recipes! How did the kids like it? I thought your photo looked good, but too much hot sauce!!!!! Lol.

    1. Well, the thing with cholula sauce is that it isn't too hot. It's more just awesome flavor than hot. I have an extra bottle I can give you if you want!

  2. Don't forget to add a TRANSLATION gadget, and a FOLLOW BY EMAIL gadget.

  3. I have shamelessly promoted you on my blog! :)

  4. Replies
    1. That salad would be way better if it didn't have kiwis for crying out loud. It looks like a crazy kiwi puckerfest!

  5. Oooooh I am going to be your first follower request! PLEASE will you write about how you made that delicious spicy coconut soup last night?? I must know!

    And I promise to help you with your food photography ;-)