30 July 2015

My Latest Recipe

Ok, so we are flat broke, and grateful that our area has several food banks. I have been trying to keep the level of cooking up. This is an example. It has a sort of twist. The day I had described what I thought I would do, Rachel Ray did something similar on her show. I am thinking I should claim she stole my idea, but I think it is merely a matter of simultaneous inspiration.

I make this in a cast iron pan but any 10 or 12-inch oven proof skillet will work. I serve it from the pan. I suppose you could use a buttered 9 x 13 casserole or baing pan with the ragu spooned down the center
  • 1# pork breakfast sausage. (I plan to try Italian sausage soon)
  • 1 large sweet or white onion
  • 1# "baby bella" mushrooms
  • 1# carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 Tbl dried Basil, or 2Tbl fresh leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbl tomato paste
  • 2 Tbl ketchup
  • 1 C. Cottage Cheese (plain or chives added)
  • 2 C. polenta or yellow grits
  • 8 C. stock (chicken, miso, or vegetable, in a pinch substitute water.)
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (or more) freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese plus more for finishing.
  • olive oil for frying
  • Salt
  • Pepper
First make the meat sauce - ragu.

  • Chop onion into 1/2" pieces.
  • Cut carrots into 1/8# slices.
  • Over medium-high heat, add olive 1 - 2 Tbl olive oil, add sausage, and break into small pieces as it browns. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan, leaving any rendered oil.
  • Add onions, carrots and mushrooms. Cook stirring gently until the mushrooms dry (they will release liquid) and the onions are clear. Add a little olive oil if they want to stick.
  • Add tomato paste, and garlic stir until the sauce has lost its red color, is light brown and coats the veggies.
  • Add meat, and any accumulated juices. Stir together to combine, remove from pan, stir in basil, and set aside.

Drain the Cheese
  • pour the cottage cheese into a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with a coffee filter. Set over a bowl to drain.

Make the Polenta

  • Using the same pan, stir two cups of polenta into 6 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer. Add 2 tsp salt, and as much as 1/4 tsp pepper.
  • Using a separate sauce pan, or in a microwave, bring another 2 cups of broth, and the whey drained from the cottage cheese to a simmer.
  • Bring to a simmer, and cook, slowly, until the liquid is nearly absorbed, about 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the 2 cups of broth,1/2 cup at a time, cooking until the broth is invisible after each addition..
  • Stir in cream cheese, butter, and grated cheese. Stir to mix completely.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Let the polenta rest 5 minutes.
  • Carefully spoon the warm ragu into the center of the pan. As you do this, the level of the polenta around the pan will rise. Spoon it all in.
  • Spoon cottage cheese over the ragu.
  • Generously grate Parmesan or Romano cheese over the entire dish.
  • Warm in oven or broiler until the cheese melts and slightly browns.
  • Serve


JCF said...

Mmmm, sounds good! Really sorry about your financial state, Jim. If not for living w my 95 yo father, I'd be right there w/ ya...

JimB said...

Thanks! It really is good, and it reheats in a microwave, so leftovers are welcome. We get two meals out of it. I recommend Merlot or Guinness....

Hang on to your dad. I so miss mine.


St Laika's

Click to view my Personality Profile page