Thursday, January 21, 2010

Promised. Promised to marry... what exactly does that mean??? Call me traditional but in my mind when you are promised to marry it is the result of one of two situations...engagement (no need to explain) or arrangement. Take for example when my great grandmother was promised to marry the rancher down in the next town, that was an arrangement by Pappa that was a promise to marry. This usually included a few crossbred heifers and a goat...that's marketing in the old country. Maybe I am traditional... speaking of... this evening I enjoyed a comfort food! For the first time my kitchen cohort and dear friend Amy experienced a Swiss-Italian tradition Pollenta!
For those of you frightened at home, don't be scared. I am going to share with you a twist on a family secret that your family will enjoy for years...

Things to gather from the pantry...
- corn meal (coarse grain is best)
- canned diced tomatoes
- cheese (whatever kind you have)
- some thawed beef, chicken or lamb
- any veggies you have in the fridge!

I always start with salted butter, in a skillet, and sliced onions. Next I would start to brown your meat. Oh and don't forget to start a pot of boiling water. Saute your onions, any kind you have (sweet are my personal favorite), slowly add veggies, I love zucchini, egg plant, and mushrooms. When they are near done welt some fresh spinach, you will love it promise! Next when your water is boiling add your pollenta, at a 3:1 ratio, very slowly, but stirring very quickly. For you Southern ladies this is much like fixing grits. Once your veggies are soft, your meat is brown and your pollenta expanded it's time for assembly. Spray the bottom of a pie plate, or baking dish of your choice, with canola oil spray. If you don't have canola oil spray use what you have and bust out some salted butter. Next layer a little bit of the pollenta on the bottom of the pan covering the surface. Next add a layer of cheese. The add your meat and veggie mixture (don't forget those diced tomatoes). Next add another layer of pollenta followed by lots of cheese! If you haven't caught it yet I love to cook with dairy! Next bake your wonderful creation in a preheated 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and browning. Pull out the dish and let sit for a few minutes. You can serve alone or with just about any side dish! I am a big fan of a nice little oil and vinegar salad, to make the perfect Swiss-Italian dinner! Remember use what you have, love what you've got and have fun!

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