Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Calendar Says July but the Weather Says March

It's July 1. We're definitely, officially, 100%, smack-dab in the middle of summer. And yet, today, in Seattle? 62 degrees. That was the high. The low was 54.

And so on this summer day, I had polenta and sausage, which can be found on the List of Things to Eat When It's Frozen Outside. It was wonderful and I loved it. In concession to the calendar, I did put mizuna, fresh tomatoes and avocados on top. I heart avocados lately. Mizuna belongs in the "green stuff" family, if you're not familiar with it. It's a little spicy like arugula, though it's technically in the mustard / cabbage family.

Polenta intimidated me for a good long while. It seemed like it was hard work and there was all that stirring.
If a recipe includes the words "stir constantly," odds are good that I'll skip it. Particularly if they're followed by the words "for 30-40 minutes." If I'm stuck to the stove for that long, there damn well better be chocolate involved. Fortunately, Alton Brown rescued me with a baked polenta. It does still require a whisk, but not 30 minutes of constant whisking, thankfully. I wholeheartedly recommend this recipe. I've never had polenta turn out with clumps, or burnt to the bottom, or icky in any way. It's always been delicious.

Once the polenta has been cheese-ified, stack on the sausage.

Tomatoes, salt, and pepper.

Delicious, happy mizuna and avocado.

I liked the difference in texture from the polenta and sausage and mizuna. The mizuna also made it a little more interesting.

Polenta and Sausage
1 recipe polenta
1 T olive oil
6 oz beer
4 sausages
1/2 c diced tomato
1/4 c diced avocado
1/4 c chopped mizuna
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and the beer. The beer should just shy of halfway up the sides of the sausages. Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, turning them periodically.
  2. Slice the sausage into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Layer the polenta, the sausage, the tomato, the mizuna, salt and pepper, and top with avocado. Serve.

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