•20 May 2013 • Leave a Comment
So, as a Southerner, I’m required by law to love cheese grits. And I do! They are delicious! And cheesy polenta? Is pretty much cheese grits. My mom loves grits but never really cooked them, so I embarked on my mission to learn to make polenta with only the Internet to guide me. Also, with a lack of polenta. This is cornmeal. The texture isn’t as nice as more coarsely-ground polenta would be, but it’s a side dish that works up pretty quickly, and hey, I had it in the cupboard; none of the stores I went to for the few weeks I was planning this had any real, stone-ground polenta. Not even the Italian market!
This is a good starchy side, easy to work up. If you want to be less indulgent you can flavor it with just broth and a bit of cream, or stir in some good thick tomato sauce, or what have you — it does not have to be ridiculously cheesy as this is. This is also a good economical way to use up various cheese ends, stumps and crumbs; if it will melt, it will go well in here! In my opinion one good salty hard cheese (Parmesan or something) serves an important role, but hey, this is your cheesy polenta.
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•17 May 2013 • Leave a Comment
This recipe comes from a friend of the family when I was small. It’s not a traditional corned beef preparation (there is no boiling, though some braising does occur), and yet it results in a tender, flavorful corned beef, good for entree or sandwich use. It takes a bit of time, but most of that isn’t particularly active. It was popular in my household, where I’m purported to be the only one that likes corned beef — apparently, that’s not the case when it’s THIS corned beef. I suspect my roommates are accustomed to mainly deli corned beef? Who knows! They certainly liked this one.
The process is a little arcane, and I don’t know all the whys behind it — I no longer have any way to get in touch with the friend of the family the recipe came from. I just know, at this point, that it works, and I’ve never bothered to tinker with the formula.
Continue reading ‘Carol’s Corned Beef’
•15 May 2013 • Leave a Comment
This time, you must look past the delicious ribs and into the purée beneath them. Look deeeeep into the purée! It’s quick, simple, and delicious, and if it takes a few extra dishes to make it, well, I can live with that, as good as it is. This is an amazing way to turn canned white beans into something ridiculously delicious in relatively little time. If you’re wine-averse, a combination of stock and lemon juice would probably add the appropriate acidity and fluidity; if you don’t like rosemary, thyme would be nice, or sage.
Continue reading ‘Rosemary White Bean Purée’
•13 May 2013 • 3 Comments
I do adore short ribs. I grew up eating them in a lovely braise, but hoisin sauce is fairly new to me — only in the last decade or so have I discovered its deliciousness. And let me tell you, I am thrilled! It has all the things I like about barbecue sauce (the sweetness and complexity) with none of the things I don’t (bottled sauce often tastes artificial to me). So its use in something like this is definitely something that drew my eye to the recipe. Add my love of beer braises and my love of short ribs, and this was kind of a no-brainer. Just had to wait until short ribs went on sale.
The roommates liked the melting quality of the meat a great deal. It’s beefy enough to stand up to a complex, flavorful sauce, and the combination makes both better. There weren’t any leftovers to deal with, which is always nice for me, as resident kitchen cleaner as well as resident meal-cooker… though I wouldn’t have minded a short rib or two for lunch, I have to confess!
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•10 May 2013 • Leave a Comment
I love fried chicken, as any good Southerner does. But it is a lot of hassle — watching a pan, maintaining temperature, breading, cleaning up the oil, all that sort of stuff. This? Sure, it takes some planning ahead, but it’s simple. And it’s the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. Let me repeat: the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. It’s amazing. And pretty much all you have to do is dump it in a baggie with some stuff the day before, and then roast it when you want to eat it.
There were, technically, leftovers; I had a mammoth chicken breast and had eaten lunch late the day of this chicken. You had best believe they were gobbled up for lunch the next day, only supremely clean bones remaining. My roommate, who had an equally mammoth chicken breast, didn’t have any leftovers at all. It reheats pretty well because it’s so moist, even if you use a microwave.
Continue reading ‘Buttermilk Roasted Chicken’