Perfect Polenta With Roasted Tomato And Balsamic Reduction

Polenta is an ingredient you want to get to know because it is both easy to prepare and versatile. Basic polenta has a ratio of 4 cups water to 1 cup polenta several pinches of salt and a few tablespoons of butter. The steps are quite simple as well. Boil the water, add salt, and slowly whisk in your polenta. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add butter at the end and mix in. Pour your polenta on a cookie sheet that has been greased or lined with parchment and spread so the polenta is evenly distributed. Allow the polenta to cool until it has solidified.

When the polenta becomes a solid sheet cut into desired portions

While you’re waiting on your polenta set up your accouterments. On my plate I did a nice roasted tomato, balsamic, and pomegranate reduction with a bit of honey. I also brushed the polenta with a little melted butter and fresh ground black pepper. In the oven get it popping on nice cast iron and topped with shaved or grated parmesan cheese. About 15 minutes or so pull it out of the oven and top with the awesome roasted tomatoes or whatever you decide.

The polenta is a nice base that allows your ingredients to be a star.

Like the way, a frame elevates the painting. When you allow your ingredients, to shine and not over entangled in the sheer number of items placed on a dish. I’ve seen more than enough food shows and competitions where the chef gets in the way of their dish. There is a command in the knowledge of the simplicity of the masterpiece.

However you finish this dish you will surely be pleased

When is a Steak more than just a Steak?

This isn’t a philosophy blog and I stake no claim in being a philosophy expert. It is also quite possible that my opinion may not echo across the landscape of mankind. I’d like to think that my 20+ years of culinary expertise amounts to more than a bag of peas. The subject matter I bring before you today is this Is the act of having a “steak” more than just the act of consuming a deliciously juicy morsel of flavor heaven? If it’s not “steak” for you maybe it’s cake or that special dish someone makes you and changes the whole trajectory of your day. My point is this whenever I hear someone say can you make steak tonight or let’s have steak I think that it’s time to celebrate or be celebrated or maybe someone just wants to feel special?

Does steak give you instant warm and fuzzy feelings?

So what is it about a steak that does this for people? I mean saying we are having chicken tonight doesn’t seem to have the same effect as let’s go have a steak. Some or possibly most of this might be related to the cost. It is much more affordable to grill some chicken than a delicious rib eye. Especially right now when I think I saw a loan application next to the rib eye section at the store yesterday. You could have the rib eye today for $5 but than you owe 10 payments of $10. Getting sidetracked a bit I suppose but what I’m saying is that although cost might be a big factor it’s not the only factor at least not from my perspective. My perspective involves what steak has meant during my life. Getting steak usely means good things have happened or we are celebrating good people. I think the act of having or asking for a steak means the request is about wanting more good things in our life. Nothing wrong with that I say. So when someone ask for steak do your best to comply with the demand. That steak means more to them than just a great choice in food.

Exquisite Roasted Mushrooms

Well prepared mushrooms will sing to any palate

Do yourself a favor and go beyond the button mushroom. There is nothing wrong with a button mushroom. There is however more depth and flavor in other varieties of mushrooms that are probably available at your local supermarket. The mistake that people often make that kills the mushroom’s chance at being delicious is they wash them. Washing mushrooms waterlog them and mess with the structure of a tremendous ingredient.

Be sure to get your mis en place ready.

For this dish remember to season the mushrooms after cooking. A little olive oil is all you need to start. Cut your mushrooms into the desired size and add leeks (wash leeks well) parsley, and garlic. Send to the oven at 400 degrees.

The transformation of the mushrooms prepared well will memorize you.

It takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes and be sure to stir them halfway through. Side note know your oven since oven times and temps vary from one oven to the next.When the mushrooms have reached their desired doneness pull them out of the oven and season. I added salt, garlic butter and served. The mushrooms were fan freaking tastic. I served them with a juicy steak.

A mushroom prepared well definitely compliments a variety of different main dishes.

Not Just Any Lasagna, A Dish Made With Love

Things that are home made or made from scratch often just taste better. Why do you think that is? Could it be that the reason is love? Fresh pasta is made with just a few ingredients flour, eggs, salt, and a splash of water. Using dry pasta just doesn’t replicate the quality you get with fresh dough. For this lasagna I opted to add fresh mozzarella and a nice meatball.

Fresh pasta dough is worth the effort.
Add a nice meatball
Fill the lasagna with layers of flavor goodness.
Your stomach will thank you!

There is no replication for the love and passion a chef puts into their food. Love and passion can not be substituted. That is why it is important to cook what inspires you.

What are your 6?

Whats your 6? #projectmysterydish

#projectmysterydish is an idea I had to bring some fun into the ground hog days we are currently living in. The concept is simple and a take on some cooking shows we have seen in the past. Id like it to be a precursor for a cause that benefits a charity but I would like to get traction before we take it there.

The concept is a 6 ingredient challenge ( not including fillers, seasoning, and garnish which are allowed). To kick it off and provide inspiration. I did a pre-contest example. My 6 ingredients were ; Halibut, Acorn Squash, Figs, Blackberrys, Golden Beets, and Dandelion Greens.

Portioned and seasoned halibut with the help of my Kamikoto Slicing knife. Ready to grill on a cedar plank.
Roasted most of the components in the oven.

To finish I garnished it with roasted fennel, radish, and limes. I was pretty happy with the dish although I woild swap out the dandelion greens as they were a bit to bitter for this dish.

The dish is visually appealing and was tasty when you married the flavors.