Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sage Polenta, Marinara & Garlic Shrooms

Knowing that I read cookbooks the way most people read novels, a girlfriend sent a cookbook for my birthday; a win-win for all.  This book, CRAZY SEXY KITCHEN, written by Kris Carr and Whole Foods Chef Chad Sarno, is loaded with healthy, tasty dishes.  If that wasn't enough, it includes delicious recipes from 10 guest Chefs, many of who are restaurant owners.
In my herb garden the other day, I noticed the sage needed to be cut back, so I started looking for something to do with it.  Enter...Sage Polenta.  The author suggested serving Marinara with the Polenta, which was a wonderful pairing.  The addition of Garlic Mushrooms...well, I believe that can only make any meal more memorable.  None of these dishes required much work, but the Marinara needs time to simmer, so I started that first.

Nana's Marinara serves 6
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 C diced white onion
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 small red serrano chile, minced (or 1/2 Tb red pepper flakes)
5 C diced Roma tomatoes (if using canned: Muir Glen or San Marzano crushed are recommended)
3 Tb chiffonaded basil
2 Tb minced oregano
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large shallow pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, garlic and chile.  Saute until onions are translucent.
Add diced tomatoes and cook on low heat for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Once tomatoes have cooked down into a thick sauce, add fresh herbs, salt and pepper. 
Remove from heat and serve.

Sage Polenta serves 6
2 Tb olive oil
2 C finely diced white onion
2 Tb minced sage
1 1/2 C vegetable stock
3 C milk of your choice
2 Tb nutritional yeast
3 Tb butter of your choice
1 1/4 C fine corn meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a heavy-bottom pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and onions and saute until caramelized.  Add minced sage and stir well. 
Add stock, milk, nutritional yeast, and butter.  Turn to low heat and bring to a simmer.
Slowly, while constantly whisking, add the dry polenta, pouring in an even stream.  Continue to whisk to keep the consistency smooth, while cooking. 
Once polenta has reached a porridge consistency, continue to keep on low heat and cook until the corn meal has softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir frequently and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Remove from heat, and serve with a heaping ladle full of Nana's Marinara.

Garlicky Mushrooms serves 4
1 Tb butter- I needed more
1 1/2 C wild mushrooms, loosely packed- I used baby portabellas and next time will add more
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb minced chives
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large pan, melt the butter; add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is almost dry, about 4 minutes.  Gently stir in the chives, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
I'm looking forward to making all of this again.

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