Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blue Cheese Polenta with Sauteed Vegetables

To me, this dish is very dangerous. I love Polenta!  I also love cheese... even the stinky stuff... and especially the bluing with fungus stuff.  Part of me is disgusted by it, but the taste, although not even that great, keeps me coming back for more.  It's like that with that really stinky, soft cheese.  It smells horrible, so why do so many people, including me, keep putting it into their mouth when it's available? This meal, on the other hand, smells delicious and tastes amazing!  I think you'll agree.

  • 2 tblsp olive oil 
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta (make sure it's gluten free)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
 Cooking Directions
  1. Heat 1 tblsp olive oil in heavy skillet
  2. Add mushrooms and thyme. Saute until mushrooms are tender (around 5 minutes). 
  3. Add remaining 1 tblsp olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender (around 8 minutes).
  4. Combine milk, 1/2 cup water, and the remaining salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in the polenta and cook for 5 minutes (stirring frequently). Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in the Gorgonzola cheese until fully incorporated.
  6. Serve on plates, sided with the sauteed vegetables and enjoy!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Two Birds and a Pig Gluten Free Chili

I don't think I'll ever get bored of experimenting with chili.  It's always so good, makes lots of leftovers, and can be made so many different ways.  I just went with what I had on hand, hoped for the best, and was pleasantly surprised when it ended up exceeding my expectations.  Next time though, I think I'll make it a bit spicier.  I mean, it did make my nose run a bit, but I know I can handle a lot more heat:)

  • 6 tblsp oil
  • 1 pound chicken (GF chicken sausage, chopped chicken, etc.)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound spicy pork sausage (makes sure it's gluten free)
  • 2 1/2 tblsp hot chili powder
  • 3 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 large jalapeno peppers (seeded and minced)
  • 1 tblsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 tblsp dried oregano
  • 1 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar
  • 1 (6 oz.) can diced black olives
  • 1 can of dark kidney beans (drained)
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

Cooking Directions
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot and brown the chicken, ground turkey and pork sausage. Once browned, stir in the chili powder and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until golden.
  3. Add the minced jalapenos and saute for a few minutes; add the garlic and saute for a minute.
  4. Add the onion mixture to the meat along with the oregano, vinegar, tomatoes, water, bay leaves, cumin, brown sugar, salt, and olives.  Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  5. Cover and cook for 1 hour, making sure it remains simmering throughout (not boiling). Stir occasionally and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  6. Add drained can of dark kidney beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaves and serve topped with shredded Cheddar.
  8. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gluten Free Cheesy Broiled Polenta with Mushrooms

With half of my family living in the deep south, grits and polenta have always been among my favorite side dishes.  In this recipe corn meal takes the main stage in a delicious meal that can be served hot or cold, although bubbling hot is the best!  You can use any kind of mushroom you wish; experimentation is best when tasty.  When using the broiler, make sure to keep a close eye on your polenta, since it can quickly go from a beautiful golden brown to a charred black in a matter of seconds.  Try not to like this one:)

Total Prep Time = 30 minutes
Serves = 6

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Meal)
  • 3 tblsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms (diced)
  • 1 large garlic clove (minced or pressed)
  • 1 tblsp. dry white wine (or water, but wine is better)
  •  1/8 tsp. salt (in addition to the salt needed for the boiling water above)
  • 1/2 cup smoked cheddar or provolone cheese (shredded)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • dash of marjoram, basil, or tarragon (optional)

Cooking Directions
  1. Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 tsp. of salt to a boil. When the water is rapidly boiling, add the cornmeal slowly while stirring constantly to avoid creating lumps.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, making sure to stir often to avoid sticking, until the polenta is nice an thick.
  3. While the polenta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until the oil is absorbed.
  4. Stir in the wine (or water), and 1/8 tsp. salt. Simmer gently for a couple minutes.
  5. Preheat the broiler.
  6. Spread the polenta evenly in a buttered or oiled flameproof casserole dish.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the polenta. Spoon the sauteed mushrooms over the cheese, and top off with another layer of shredded cheese.  Add ground pepper according to your taste.
  7. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. 
  8. Remove from broiler and top with a sprinkling of marjoram, basil or tarragon if you wish.
  9. Serve bubbling hot and pull up the blanket of comfort food you're about to enjoy!