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Creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola and Spinach

Creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola and Spinach



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Ingredients

  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)*
  • 1 cup (packed) chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in large saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer until almost absorbed and polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Add cheese and parsley; stir until cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Recipe by The Blossom Deli Charleston WVReviews Section

Polenta with Creamy Spinach

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30 minutes or lessA combination of cornstarch and flour gives the spinach sauce its creamy texture.Meal Plan: Serve with a fresh tomato and cucumber salad and some crusty bread

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-oz.) bags fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups 1% milk or soy milk
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 to 3 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 1 1/3 cups instant (5-minute) polenta

Preparation

Thoroughly clean spinach, removing any large stems. Place leaves in large pot (in batches if necessary). Place pot over high heat, cover and cook until spinach is just wilted, 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Squeeze dry. Coarsely chop spinach.

In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk together milk, cornstarch, flour and 11/4 tsp. salt. Increase heat to medium and gradually whisk milk mixture into onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomato, spinach and Gorgonzola if desired. Cover to keep warm.

Polenta: Prepare polenta according to package directions, using 4 cups water and 11/2 tsp. salt. Spoon polenta into serving bowls. Top with spinach mixture, sprinkle with pepper to taste and serve.


Thinking about the country of Italy in general brings up dreams of pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano, tomatoes, prosciutto, and of course… gelato and pizza.

But different regions and cities have different ingredients that are considered kitchen staples. I, for one, believe this leads to different feelings in those cities – it’s as if you can feel you are in a certain place just by eating a plate of food. It helps tell the story of that area and the people in it. Let’s connect a few of them on a food tour of Italy, shall we? That way when we finally get to travel back to our favorite vacation country, we can embrace all the different places for all they offer.

Let’s start at the very top.

The very northern part of Italy, or the top of the boot as it may be, makes me want to curl up in it. Think about being in the magnificent mountains of the Alps. The chilly, biting air outside may lead you to want to cozy up by a roaring fireplace, wrapped up in a warm blanket. That feeling of comfort is exactly what the food does to you as well. Think earthy potatoes, creamy polenta, oozy Fontina and Gorgonzola cheeses and one of my favorites, Speck or smoked Prosciutto. It’s a comforting region for certain.

Let’s mosey on down to Rome.

Rome is obviously a city, and a fabulous one at that. Filled with locals and tourists alike, like many large cities, it has a bitter edge to it along with some minerality and lots of confidence. Here you often find items like chicories, or bitter greens, along with agretti – a slightly toothsome green with a whisper of minerality. Romanesco is also very popular which offers itself as a sort of confident crown. And speaking of crowns, artichokes are also prevalent. When it comes to the preferred cheese of choice, pecorino is often featured here with that bright, salty attitude that no other cheese quite offers.

Stopping by Positano and the Amalfi coast is a must.

This area is light, bright and refreshing. All kissed with lots of vitamin D from the sun. You will know you are in the area by the lemons the size of the above-mentioned sun and all of the simply and flawlessly prepared seafood. Citrus and the sea is the relaxed theme here and it brings a smile to anyone’s face who passes through.

Final stop, Sicily.

Both the people and the cuisine are colorful and vibrant with a flare that you find nowhere else in Italy. Think colorful citrus such as blood oranges and jewel toned eggplant like nonna used to cook. To remind you of the slight funk and grit that the history of the island has, anchovies and sardines find their way often into many dishes.

Bottom line? Food and locations tell a story but also, more often than not, evoke an emotion. So when we are allowed to travel again, think about each new destination and how it makes you feel. Pay attention to it. Take your time. Let it reveal itself to you. Then take a big bite and let yourself get carried away on your own emotional food tour of Italy.

Article by Lish Steiling Read More

With over 20 years in the food industry, Lish is a talented chef, food stylist, and Emmy-winning culinary producer - along with being the former VP of Culinary for Giada De Laurentiis. She was born in Wisconsin, where she established a love of beer brats and gummy bears, and today, she and her wife are happy to call NYC home.


Combine water, polenta, herbs (if using), and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until polenta begins to pull away from side of pan, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese and butter until incorporated, then transfer polenta to baking dish, spreading evenly with a spatula. Allow to cool. You can make this part up to a day ahead.

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with oil.

Unmold polenta on a cutting board and slice into sticks. (I made about 25 all together.) Brush tops with oil and space evenly on baking sheet. Broil about 4 inches from heat until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, bake in a very hot oven until crispy. Serve immediately with warm sauce (see below).


To Make The Polenta: Combine milk, 3 cups of water, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. When it simmers, slowly pour in the polenta and whisk to combine. Partially cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking vigorously (get all the corners of the pan!) every 5 minutes, until polenta is no longer gritty and looks like creamy oatmeal or loose applesauce, about 30 minutes total

Turn off the heat and let the polenta sit off to the side, covered, for anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the peppers and mushrooms.

To Make The Sauteed Peppers And Mushrooms: Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper, and stir to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and all the liquid is cooked off, about 8 minutes. Remove to a bowl and return the pan to the stove.

Add remaining oil and the onions and stir to coat in the oil. Cook until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers, add a big pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of water, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the mushrooms back to the pepper mixture, stir to coat, cover, turn off heat, and set aside until ready to use.

Make The Egg: If you’re craving an egg, now would be the time to prepare it. (I prefer mine poached or friend for polenta but do what you please.) Just before serving, whisk the cheese into the warm polenta.

To Serve The Polenta: After the polenta has rested, whisk it to loosen it up. Stir in the mascarpone and cover until ready to use. Taste the polenta and check out the consistency. If you like it looser (as I do), whisk in another 1/4 cup of water as needed to loosen the polenta to the consistency of oatmeal.

Divide polenta evenly among four bowls. If using the greens, stir them into the mushrooms mixture until just wilted then spoon over the polenta. Top each bowl with a fried egg, a sprinkling of some chives, and, if desired, a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dollop of mascarpone.

Footnotes

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More On Salt & Wind Travel

Aida Mollenkamp

Aida is a food and travel expert, author, chef, Food Network personality, founder of the travel services company, Salt & Wind Travel, and partner at the creative agency and educational platform, Border Free Media. She has made her career in food travel media and hospitality and has crisscrossed the globe to search out the best food destinations.

After graduating from the Cornell Hotel School and Le Cordon Bleu Paris, she joined CHOW Magazine where she ran the test kitchen and worked as Food Editor. Aida then moved to television, hosting the Food Network show, Ask Aida, FoodCrafters on the Cooking Channel, In The Pantry on Yahoo!, and the TasteMade series, Off Menu. Her cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, is a go-to for home cooks who want to become more adventurous cooks and the Travel Guides For Food Lovers series she has co-authored are beloved among food travelers.

Through Border Free Media, Aida shares the lessons she’s learned as an entrepreneur with other creative businesses. From teaching our Cooking Club classes to cohosting our group trips, in all that she does Aida aims to help discerning travelers taste the world.


Creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola and Spinach - Recipes

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    Creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola and Spinach - Recipes

    This hands-off technique makes excellent polenta with very little effort or time on the cook's part. It results in creamy polenta with a very rich flavor.

    • 1 quart water
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons butter

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a 1 to 1-1/2 quart container, stir together the water, salt, pepper, and cornmeal. Add the butter in pieces. Place the container, uncovered, in the center of the top rack of the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Open the oven, pull out the rack, and stir the polenta. (This is the time to add any additional ingredients such as cheese, as well.) Close the oven and bake the polenta for an additional 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, and serve.

    From:
    Polenta
    by Michele Anna Jordan
    Broadway Books
    $19.95 1997
    ISBN 0-553-06732-X
    Copyright © 1997 Michele Anna Jordan.
    Reprinted by permission.

    Polenta

    Making Soft Polenta
    Polenta Recipes (by Michele Anna Jordan)
    Additional Polenta Recipes

    This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007


    The Cheesiest Polenta and Prettiest Lasagna Comes from This Tiny Italian Region

    Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, of Boulder, Colorado&rsquos beloved Frasca Food and Wine, share the best recipes and wines from their favorite Italian region.

    For the past 17 years, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson have been in love with Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a tiny region in northeast Italy. Stuckey, a Master Sommelier, and Mackinnon-Patterson, a 2005 F&W Best New Chef, were first drawn there by the area’s wines𠅏riulano, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio, plus many indigenous varieties𠅋ut found the region’s products and neighborhood restaurants (frasche, the plural of frasca) to be just as compelling.

    Friuli shares a border with Slovenia to the east, Austria to the north, and the Adriatic Sea along its southern coast. But the key to FVG’s diversity, Stuckey says, is what’s below the geopolitical borders: the soil. “There is not any one particular terroir or style in the region because the soils range from heavy and powerful from the sea floor to light, white, gravelly soil from the mountains,” he says. FVG’s wines and its cuisine reflect the delicious possibilities of a region where mountains meet sea.

    The restaurateurs return to Friuli-Venezia Giulia often and channel the region’s sensibility at Frasca. “The pre-Alpine feeling really resonates [in Boulder],” says Stuckey. Frasca’s early and continued success has also enabled Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson to maintain a close connection to Friulian producers and vintners as their restaurant group grows.

    One of the best excuses for trips in the past few years has been to blend the wine for their label, Scarpetta, and to gather material for their first book, Friuli Food and Wine, out this month. As this issue goes to press, the Italian people and their businesses are under quarantine due to concerns about COVID-19. “When the opportunity arises to plan a vacation and do something special, I urge you to visit the people of Italy, who always make guests feel so welcome. The Italians live hospitality through great times and hard times, so go visit the undiscovered Italy that we at Frasca love so much. I hope to see you in Friuli and have the chance to pour you a glass of Friulano,” offers Stuckey. In the meantime, cook the recipes and try the wines on the following pages, and find more in their new book, a taste of the generous meals and the genuine hospitality of Friuli. Or, as they like to call it, hospItalian.


    Step 4/4

    • 470 ml water
    • 470 ml whole milk
    • 120 g polenta
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 40 g butter
    • 30 g cheddar cheese (grated)
    • 20 g parsley (chopped)
    • salt
    • black pepper
    • wooden spoon
    • whisk
    • medium, heavy-bottomed pot
    • cutting board
    • knife

    To cook polenta, bring water and milk to boil in a small saucepan add salt. Pour polenta into boiling mixture in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Turn down heat to low. Continue to whisk until polenta thickens, approx. 3 – 5 min. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cheese, and salt and black pepper to taste. Serve shrimp and tomato mixture over a bed of polenta. Garnish with fresh parsley.


    Perfecting Pressure Cooker Polenta

    In my quest for the perfect pressure cooker polenta recipe I scorched the bottom of my pressure cooker quite severely following the instructions from several Italian websites I got a solid, chunky mess when following American recipes and, a gelatinus glob with an undercooked pasty center from the highly recommended pot-in-pan method on a pressure cooking mailing list.

    Then… I found an abandoned Italian Blog, Ricette Maledette (Damn Recipes), where the writer shared their grandmother Serena’s technique for making perfect pressure cooker polenta. The key is to close the lid once the polenta starts bubbling. Following this method, and perfecting it with my own timing and ratio, I was able to finally succeed where many before me had not. Even Lorna Sass, the Pressure Cooker Queen of the 90’s and 2000’s said it couldn’t be done. Now, it can. However, it will leave a little scorching on the bottom of your pressure cooker pan – just like a cauldron on an open fire would.

    Don’t worry… cleaning instructions are included in the recipe and it’s very easy to do!


    Watch the video: Wild Mushroom Polenta. Gennaro Contaldo