Daily Archives: August 6, 2010

I Think You Can in Europe

I have had different reactions to the recipes I’ve checked off the list thus far.  In some cases I’ve been underwhelmed,  (I’m looking at you, curry chicken).  In other cases, I have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the results (beef wellington!  Chicago Pizza!).

But polenta left me just whelmed.

In part, I blame Giada.  Her Everyday Italian cookbook has three different recipes for polenta.  So I figured, it has to be great.  At the same time, I knew it was simple, so it wasn’t going to blow my mind or anything.

Cornmeal and a Whisk...about all you need

Polenta is made by continuously whisking cornmeal and water over heat until its soft and thickened.   I remember watching this special episode of Iron Chef America where Mario Batali was on a team with Rachel Ray.  One of their menu items was polenta and Rachel Ray was confined to a single burner, endlessly stirring for the better part of the episode.  I found this strangely gratifying.

I love this picture....maybe the cornmeal was haunted!! OOOOooooOOOO

Anyway, you stir and stir and stir and cook until the cornmeal is tender.  Once cooked, I added cream, butter, and Gorgonzola cheese since I was serving as sort of a potato substitute alongside steaks with balsamic vinegar.  Stir to melt the cheese and that’s it.

The polenta was, well, fine.  The cheese was sharp and it was creamy and filling.  But Giada just seemed to promise me so much more which her description of the warm comforting goodness of an Italian staple.    Handsome Husband responded with a “It’s cornmeal…what were you expecting.” (shrugs shoulders)

Hence, I was whelmed.

UNFORESEEN BONUS: Meh.

We did determine that my polenta undertaking cost about $1.00, so I guess polenta has that going for it.  The low cost endeavor is a sharp contrast to this weekend’s Crown Roast Affair  (ahh, a clue!!), which requires some investment.   Apparently I also decided that investment = a title: A Crown Roast Affair.  Sounds very cosmopolitan.

See you on Monday,

xoxo The Flyover Foodie

p.s. Bonus points if you know the movie source of today’s blog title!

Polenta on FoodistaPolenta

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Friday Hot Dish 8/6

Welcome to the 2nd edition of our new favorite feature:

The Friday Hot Dish!

1. This may be redundant, since last week I was counting down to devouring a Octo-dog at the State Fair.   BUT the photos in this slide show literally made my stomach growl earlier this week.  Really…my boss even heard it!  Add an extra 15 minutes to today’s workout: you’re gonna need it. Festival Favorites

2. It’s official: the price of bacon is going up and up.  Yes, it is sweltering here in the Midwest, but I think it might be a Congressional conspiracy to get us to “eat better”.  And don’t even think about substituting turkey bacon in your recipes…it won’t work.  I’ve tried.  Price of Bacon Goes Up

3. ANOTHER new cooking competition show debuted last week: Fox’s new “Master Chef” hosted by Gordon Ramsey (who I love) puts chefs before a discerning panel of judges.  I haven’t watched the show yet…I already have enough food competition shows lined up on my dvr list. (Chopped, Top Chef, Iron Chef America!) But the real question is: which tv chef would you want to learn from?  10 TV Chefs

My pick: Alton Brown.  Love that guy!  Just keep Rachel Ray and her EVOO far from my zip code, thankyouverymuch.

4. Even though mustard is my nemesis, I will still give credit where it is due:  Tomorrow, head to Middleton, Wisconsin to the National Mustard Museum to celebrate National Mustard Day!! The museum has more than 5,000 kinds of mustard from around the globe.   I would recommend NOT wearing white…trust me on this one.   National Mustard Museum

5. I know, I know: we’re landlocked here in Flyover Country, but we’ve got our share of non-coastal beaches.  Check out this great article on the top Midwestern beaches before you plan your last few summer weekends.  Yes, I just wrote the phrase “Midwestern beaches”…..just go with it.  Labor Day road trip anyone?  Top Midwestern Beaches

6. This week cannot pass without me mentioning Shark Week.  I can’t quite figure out the appeal of spending a full week watching sharks attack mammals of various sizes, but it is addicting.  I’ve fully recovered from watching “Jaws” at a tender age (nice parenting, Dad!!) but this video might set me back a couple years.  Apparently, they jump:  South African Great Whites

Watch for a bonus weekend post, coming soon.  Happy Friday!!

xoxo Flyover Foodie