Friday, August 10, 2012

fresh corn polenta with sausage and tomatoes.

The temperature remains high and all I can think about is fall which is pathetic considering I will be dreaming of summer come November.  The problem is that stores are filling up with sweaters and blazers and dark denim and I want to scoop all of it and wear it immediately (I am currently lusting over a beautiful Rag and Bone blazer and these blue suede JCrew pumps…they make me swoon.)  I’ve also been craving as of late warm plates of food – piping hot bowls of pasta, spicy soups, and rich casseroles.  I think by body is saying “I want something besides tomato salad!!” I reached a conclusion the other night that I can have my cake and eat it to – I can use the plethora of vegetables I have to create a comforting dish of food (and suffer in the sauna like kitchen which is what happens when I turn the oven on for more the 5 minutes in the summer).

So I thought and pondered and looked at cookbooks and decided that fresh corn polenta would fill my need for something warm and comforting and it would still feel like summer.  Fresh corn polenta is amazing – it’s sweet and creamy and it works with a wide variety of toppings.  It’s also a cinch to make and it tastes like epitome of summer and fall (yes food can taste like multiple seasons).  For my polenta topping, I cooked up some sausage for texture and then mixed in some jalapenos for heat.  I also added in some chopped tomatoes for a nice burst of acidity and then I spooned this mixture over my lovely corn polenta.  The dish fulfilled all my cravings and the variety of tastes and textures transformed it into something special.  It’s was the kind of meal that makes you look forward to fall. 

Fresh Corn Polenta with Sausage and Tomatoes
The corn polenta makes a wonderful base for any variety of things.  Works wonderfully with grilled shrimp or you could make it vegetarian my omitting the sausage.  The possibilities are endless!

Fresh Corn Polenta
Recipe from Marcus Samuelson
Serves for as a side, 2 generously as a meal

4 ears of corn
½ cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan or cheddar or a combination of both, to taste
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Stand the shucked ears of corn upright in a shallow bowl and cut off the kernel as close to the cob as you can.  Go around again and scrape out the remaining milk in the cobs.  Grind the corn kernels in a food processor until you have a slushy mix.  Put the corn in a large saucepan along with the water and olive oil.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes; don’t let the corn scorch!  Add salt, cheese, and pepper, along with a drizzle of olive oil if desired and the topping if your choice.  Serve at once.

Sausage and Tomato Topping

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 link of spicy sausage, casing removed (I used a jalapeno pepper jack one that I got from the Meat Hook!)
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup diced roasted red peppers
1-2 tablespoons diced jalapenos (depending on your level of spicy)
Chives to garnish

In a sauté pan heat the olive oil, when hot add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  When brown and cooked through add in the tomatoes and peppers, cooking until the tomatoes have begun to burst about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the jalapenos.  Spoon mixture over the corn polenta and garnish with chives. 

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