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Showing posts from September 11, 2011

Basic Polenta

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You all know what polenta is, right?

What, no?


It's OK. I understand. I didn't know about polenta for a long time. But now I do and I'm sharing it with you.
Polenta is a coarsely ground corn meal prepared as either a mush, or allowed to set up and then grilled or baked and shaped. I've had polenta "fries" which were thick strips of toasted polenta. I like those.

Since I was introduced to polenta by my Italian in-laws, I made the typical mistake many non-Italians do of comparing polenta to grits. I was informed that it was NOT like grits.  (Excuse me, but it sure looks like grits, comes from the same plant, and has a suspiciously similar cooking method.) So I just nodded and accepted that weren't going to concede. They all poked fun at me about never making a good Italian. When I made this last week, my husband jokingly said that he'd made me a true Italian.
Anyhow, back to the technique. Different famous chefs do different things to make polenta excitin…

Cucumbers in Cream

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This recipe came from  my mom.  It's been around for a long time, I'm not sure just how long. It's one of my dad's favorite ways to eat cucumber.


It also happens to be one of those seasonal, summer side dishes that really hits the spot with potato salad and burgers on the grill.

Ingredients
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 large English cucumber
1 small red onion
1 sprig fresh dill (optional)

Method
1. Combine sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper.


2. Wash and peel cucumbers. Cut into slices 1/4" thick. Peel and slice onion thinly, about 1/8" thick. I used a mandoline slicer for this.




3. Toss cucumber slices, onion, and dill (if using) in cream sauce.



4. Cover with plastic and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight to let the flavors develop.