Polenta, Please!

Here’s a no-face shot of Albany John and Ellsbells cooking together in the kitchen. Mixing, cooking, chicanery, whatnottery, the usual. I’ve got some cute chefs, no? It’s taken Albany John and me a while to get the right ‘kitchen dance’ mojo going on. Before that it was a lot of clunking into each other while trying to help, but these two have it down pat.

Before they took over the kitchen, I used my awesome mandoline to finely slice some cucumbers and dressed them with red wine vinegar and kosher salt. Meh, not great, but they looked pretty. I was hoping to get something along the lines of a pickle flavor going on, but I just got Cucumbers-Doused-In-Red-Wine-Vinegar flavor. Experimentation will be needed.

Here is what the peeps whipped up – a chickpea curry type dish with summer squash, and some soy sauced broccoli. The broccoli was awesome – not overcooked but not hard to bite, and no charring on the soy sauce. Both atop a hearty plop of polenta, seasoned with just some butter.

FWIW, my favorite cornmeal for polenta in the area is the organic one in the bulk bins of the co-op. At $1.25 per pound, the price is lower than buying a bag at the chain grocery stores and it’s a very coarse grain. I have no clue why coarser grains taste so good, they just do. I accidentally bought a finely ground bag of cornmeal at the grocery store one time and all the polenta I made tastes like runny sand. Ew. This kind was nice and creamy.

  1. nothing better than a faceless shot. unless Albany John has no face! conspiracy

  2. JMP said:

    I do my cucumbers with an herbed vinegar (basically just white vinegar my mom infused with herbs,) some red onion, minced garlic, kosher salt. If you let it marinate for a little while in the fridge, you definitely get the pickle flavor!

  3. phairhead – now there's a good internet rumor to start!

    JMP – awesome. Sounds good to me!

  4. Grace said:

    any flesh in those cukes? i haven’t managed to use my mandoline yet without scraping a bit of skin off. 🙂

  5. need some gahhhlic to make them taste like pickles. Or maybe some dill or something.

    I'll have to check out that polenta. I'm all out and I've been loving the co-op lately.

  6. Lorre said:

    Dill helps get a pickled flavor, and sometimes diluting the vinegar can be an improvement. Herbed vinegar from Rolf's is good for salty/savory pickle.

    If I was using a wine vinegar I'd sweeten it a little and do a sweetish pickle flavor.

    Yesterday I used mirin and chilies to pickle up some cukes. Yum – o – rama.

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