What I had for dinner:

Polenta with Onion Compote

[ Previous ] 2 Sep 1994 09:56:41 -0400 [   Next   ]

A while ago, I made slow-cooker polenta (No stirring!) that I layered between two sheets of aluminum foil, let cool overnight, then cut with a pizza cutter into 1/2 x 2 inch pieces, and froze for the day I did not feel like shopping.

That day arrived. I had two red onions, six Anaheim peppers, and a tomato left from my trip to Jersey last week. I cut the onions in small strips, and put them in a small, tightly covered sauce pan with a little olive oil on very low heat, to "melt" and caramelize slightly. This takes about an hour, so it should be the first thing to be started. Halfway through, I also added some ground coriander.

Anaheim peppers are neither very flavorful nor very hot, but they are very convenient for roasting on an open flame because of their size. They acquire a pleasant smoky flavor that makes up for their blandness. The peppers should be held over a full gas flame until the skin is nearly uniformly black. They are then put in a paper bag to cool and steam off the skin. It is then easy to rub off the charred skin under water. I sliced them into small pieces, and set them aside.

Polenta is traditionally fried, but continuing my research into low-fat alternatives, I decided to try the oven technique. The oven was preheated to 450 F, and an aluminum baking sheet wiped with oil was placed in the middle rack. The frozen pieces of polenta were placed on it side by side, and baked for about 1/2 h, or until nicely browned and crispy.

The tomato was peeled (a few seconds on the open flame does the trick), seeded, and chopped. It was added with the peppers to the onion and heated through without cooking just before serving.

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