Tonight we had a play date. The older child is in the same grade as the older monkey, and the younger child is in the same grade as the younger monkey.
This was the first "get-together". The mom brought pizza for the kids (the monkey's other friend was there too) and I made dinner.
I prepped/cooked most things last night. Tonight I only needed to put the crock pot on and put one thing in the oven (the polenta below).
Of course I didn't have time to photograph anything. :(
One of the dishes I made was a SUPER simple polenta. Most people don't like polenta because you have to stand there and stir forever! Also, most polenta has heavy cream or tons of butter or milk.
With this recipe, you can easily make it non-dairy, and almost no fat, without sacrificing ANY of the taste.
In fact, my friend's daughter is lactose intolerant and went nuts over it. I gave her the polenta leftovers and had to call her to snap a picture and send it to me :)
Polenta with Smoky Mushroom Ragout
Serving Size : 8
Cooking Light April 2004
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6 cups water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal -- (polenta)
1 tablespoon butter - I used olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil - I used less
2 cups chopped onion
8 cups oyster mushrooms -- sliced (about 1.5 pounds) - I omitted this because I didn't have any
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon chipotle chile canned in adobo -- finely chopped - I subbed chipotle powder because it's what I had on hand
1 tablespoon dried oregano - I subbed dried parsley and dried italian blend because it's what I had
3 cloves garlic -- minced
28 ounces canned tomatoes -- whole, drained and chopped - I just used canned diced tomatoes
8 ounces queso fresco -- 2 cups - I omitted for my lactose free friend
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro -- chopped
Preheat oven to 350
To prepare polenta, combine first 4 ingredients in a 13x9 baking dish, stirring well. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until liquid is absorbed. Cover and keep warm
While Polenta is cooking, prepare ragout. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and salt, saute 10 minutes or until mushrooms release liquid and begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add wine, chile, oregano, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook until liquid evaporates, stirring constantly (About 1 minute). Stir in tomato, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes or until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
Spoon ragout over polenta, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350 15 minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle with cilantro.
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