I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

August 14, 2010

Polenta with Teverina Dried Wild Mushroom Sauce (p. 243) with Sauteed Greens with Garlic and Oil (p. 299)

I was eating solo on Thursday night but still wanted to get some cooking in since it's been so long. This one looked tasty, so I ran to the grocery store after work to pick up some fresh meat and veggies (my fridge was completely empty except for pickles and beer) right after work.

I started by prepping dried porcini mushrooms by putting them in a bowl of very hot water. I left them for about 30 minutes to soften while making the rest of the dish.

Next up was the sweet Italian sausage, which I cut into small chunks and sauteed for about 10 minutes. The sausage is supposed to cook in its own fats instead of using olive oil, but mine didn't produce much juice, so it was a kind of dry sauté. Once they were cooked I placed the chunks on a paper towel to dry.

When the meat was pulled out of pan I added olive oil along with chopped onion, celery, and parsley. 

Once the veggies had cooked and softened, I stirred in chopped canned tomatoes (along with their juices), chopped rosemary, and some dried thyme. These were left to simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

After the mushrooms had soaked for 30 minutes I drained them through paper towels placed in a colander (I didn't have the sieve and cheese cloth that was required), reserving the water that they had soaked in. I rinsed and chopped the mushrooms and set them aside with the water.

Meanwhile, I boiled water and slowly added the cornmeal. This set over low heat for about 20 minutes until the polenta was creamy.

I added the mushrooms and water as well as the sausage back into the sauce and continued cooking them until the polenta was ready.

The polenta is spooned onto a plate with the sauce ladled over it and parmesan scattered over the top.

Yum! I don't even like mushrooms all that much, but this was delicious. I had no idea that polenta is so easy to make, and I'll definitely make it again. It absorbs flavors well, and all the ingredients in the sauce made a very flavorful blend. Yum! I'd do a rendition on this recipe again.

With all the poor eating in NOLA, I wanted to make a veggie side. This one is pretty easy -- it's just sauteed greens of your choice. I used kale, and before beginning the recipe I rinsed the greens and boiled them briefly just using the water remaining on the leaves.

Once the kale had become tender I removed it from the heat, tossed it on a paper towel to briefly dry, and then chopped it coarsely. In the meantime, I sauteed minced garlic in olive oil for only a few minutes until it was soft and then added a dried chili pepper broken into small pieces.

I added the kale back into the pan and let the greens absorb the olive oil. They only remained on the heat until they began to sizzle -- just a few minutes -- and then I added salt and red wine vinegar, mixed them together, and served.

I surprised myself by quite liking the kale. The combination of the dried pepper and the vinegar gave it a great flavor!

canned tomatoes -- $.99
corn meal -- $1.69 (with the majority remaining)
sweet Italian sausage -- $2.03
celery -- $1.69 (only used one stalk)
onion -- $.89 (half left)
parsley -- 1.99 (most left)
dried porcini mushrooms -- $3.99
shredded parmesan -- $2.65 (most left)
Total Cost of Polenta with Teverina Dried Wild Mushroom Sauce: $15.92 (with the recipe cut in half, this made three servings)

kale -- $.27
Total Cost of Sauteed Greens with Garlic and Oil: $.27 (for just one serving)

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.