Grilled Polenta

So I burned the shit out of my leg on a motorcycle and it was excruciatingly painful and then  I got a cold and then some  great-big-gangly-motherfucker-has-no-concept-of-other-people’s-personal-space accidentally kicked the healing burn on my leg and destroyed me so for basically two weeks I mostly went home after work, drank copious amounts of ginger tea, took painkillers and ate soup in bed. Life can be difficult sometimes. My leg is still healing but I am at least hobbling around and I no longer need heavy duty medicine, which is nice, because percocet makes me nauseous.

I can now stand up long enough to enjoy cooking. I invited some friends over to celebrate National Week Holiday and the stupid as all get out Chinese schedule of one day of work  Monday, vacation starting Tuesday, and the next Monday off. Ridiculous, really.

I even wrote up the menu on a little chalkboard. It was all fancy and everything.

First, the polenta.

1 cup cornmeal
4 cups water, stock
1/2 cup milk, cream
1 cup grated cheddar and parmesan
Salt, pepper, butter, minced garlic to taste.
Melt the butter and heat with a glug of olive oil with the garlic. Add in the stock and water mix, and bring to a boil. Whisk the cornmeal in small amounts at a time to prevent clumping (no one wants lumpy polenta). Stir, stir, stir. Add in the milk and cream. Let it simmer for 30ish minutes, stirring every so often, and adding more water or milk if it gets to thick. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the cheese. You can serve it all gruel-y and thickly pudding-esque, or, do what I did, and pour it into a baking pan lined with tin foil and oiled, and refrigerate at least 1 hour until set firm.  The tin foil makes it easier to remove from the baking dish.

Cut it into strips, or get all fancy pants and use cookie cutter to cut out shapes. The scraps from shapes can be pressed together again to re-chill, or heated up with liquid.

LIne up on oiled foil  and either bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until golden toasty brown, or place on a grill over the medium heat area, let cook about 20 minutes per side (again, watch carefully for it to turn toasty golden.

I topped this with chopped up cheddar bratwurst tossed with garlic-sauteed kale. It made a lovely starter to share between four people, but with a lightly poached egg on top, would make a great dinner for one.

The rest of the sausage I tossed with ricotta and butternut squash ravioli in a white wine and brown butter sauce, accompanied by oxtail and enoki soup (the same recipe as the GoT dinner…really, its a keeper. I have bags of the soup in my freezer for after work dinners) and sliced duck breast (marinated in hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine, honey and ginger).

Dessert: raspberries, squares of dark chocolate, and a really dense, heavy pear and almond cake.


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