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White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

This was a recent meal at our house and even though I accidentally made two “errors” with it, the meal was still delicious. So, I think we’ll call this one both forgiving and versatile.

Error number one was not realizing this recipe made two cake pans worth of polenta (not a big deal as the other polenta is safely in the freezer awaiting a dinner soon) and error number two was baking the polentas in the cake pans. Also not a big deal since, as far as I can tell, it worked out fine. Lessons learned: if you’re just trying to feed two, just make a half recipe of the below and for possibly crispier polenta, turn them out onto a baking sheet. But you know, no big deal.

That all said, the versatility comes in by really being able to top these pizzas with anything you might normally put on a pizza. Mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, lamb sausage, feta — it’s completely adjustable to the season and whatever you’re in the mood for eating!

White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

White Polenta <span style= . . . → Read More: White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

FFwD: Swiss Chard Pancakes (but really Arugula Pancakes)

FFwD: Swiss Chard Pancakes but really Arugula Pancakes

I almost didn’t make this French Fridays with Dorie. In fact, I really wasn’t going to make it at all but at 9:00pm on Thursday night I looked to see what the assignment was…it was Swiss Chard Pancakes. I had really wanted to make those. And I didn’t have any chard. Because I was lazy and I absolutely did not want to go to the store, I used what I did have — arugula. Dorie even suggests these pancakes are very good with spinach instead of chard, and is arugula really that far away from spinach? No. Especially not at 9:00pm on a Thursday.

The nice thing is these came together so quickly! I was all done by 9:30-ish. And we had a nice breakfast all ready for the following morning (Friday). I just rewarmed them in a 350 degree F oven (in foil) for about 10 minutes. I served the pancakes with some Greek yogurt and finely diced red onion.

The few changes I made: made a half recipe, added about 1 tsp Dijon mustard to the batter, and sprinkled a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese on each pancake before . . . → Read More: FFwD: Swiss Chard Pancakes (but really Arugula Pancakes)

Broccoli Crunch Salad (à la Whole Foods)

Broccoli Crunch Salad (a la Whole Foods)

This is a salad that is directly from the gods of delicious things. I used to work right by the Whole Foods in Bridgeport and oh man, I would buy a little containers of this salad at least once a week. It’s so good! It’s also a dangerous salad because it is made up of broccoli, so you can easily kid yourself into thinking that it’s healthy. But, oh no, if you are doing it right, it is not.

We recently went through a whole bowl of this. It’s very addictive, as well as being unbelievably tasty, crunchy, bacony, oniony and sweet.

I think this is pretty close to what Whole Foods sells. A lot of the other recipes on the subject that I’ve seen don’t include the bacon or the candied cashews but, in my opinion, both are crucial. If you wanted a vegetarian version, you could of course skip the bacon, but that’s your decision. My personal preference is to very briefly steam the broccoli so that it is crisp-tender, to be honest, I’m not sure if Whole Foods uses raw or lightly steamed broccoli in their version, but that is . . . → Read More: Broccoli Crunch Salad (à la Whole Foods)

Cibo Italian Restaurant in SE Portland

Cibo pdx

In the last few months (year, maybe? I am bad at judging time), it seems that my stretch of SE Division street has just exploded with new places — Ava Gene’s, Xico, Lauretta Jean’s, Sunshine Tavern, Cibo. And I’m sure there’s more I’m even forgetting. Of this group, we’ve been to Cibo twice so far and I can’t wait to go again. It was a bit crowded on a Tuesday night for our last visit, so we started at the bar and moved to the table when one opened up.

Cibo
3539 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97214

On that visit, we split the octopus dish as a starter and I think it’s my favorite plate featuring octopus in Portland right now. A great char, nice and tender, on a plate full of creamy beans, herbs and lemon. It changes from time-to-time (right now I think it’s on a bed of potatoes) but it’s definitely worth checking out no matter what version it is.

We also split the Caesar salad, which was also good and recommended, but the pizza. Oh my! Get the pizza. They are definitely big enough to share, but if you get one per person, you can try . . . → Read More: Cibo Italian Restaurant in SE Portland

FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie was a very interesting thing indeed — so interesting, in fact, that I am a day late in getting the post up.

Cod and Spinach Roulades — a spinach and onion filling, wrapped up in fish mousse, steamed and served with tomato sauce and pesto. Kind of like an Italian-French fish tamale?

I don’t see the recipe officially online, so I can’t link to it, but it can be found in the cookbook, Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

Notes:
1. I did not use plastic wrap. I know that it is probably fine, but I just don’t like the idea of wrapping plastic around food and then heating it. So…I used parchment paper. And it was moderately successful. It did let some steam/condensation in while steaming, but the fish still held together fine.

2. No cream on hand and didn’t want to go buy some for such a small amount, so I used a mixture of full-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat milk for a substitute. It seemed to work. I also substituted some plain lemon zest for the preserved lemon zest.

3. Plating was not as . . . → Read More: FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades