Thursday, August 6, 2009

Polenta with Tomato-Braised Beans

This is a fairly quick supper to make on a weeknight, especially if you cook the polenta on the stove-top as the original recipe calls for, but now I always use Alton Brown's oven cook method. ~40 minutes covered in the oven, stirring every 10 to keep it lump-free. No muss, very little fuss.
This will be a good one if it ever cools down again.

Polenta with Tomato-Braised Beans:
(adapted from Cooking Light and Alton Brown)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for grilling or sauteing if desired
3/4 cup finely chopped red/white onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal (I use Bob's Red Mill's medium grind whole cornmeal)
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (I use less, probably only 1/2-1 oz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an oven-safe saucepan (I use a 2.5 qt) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the salt, and pepper (the original recipe calls for adding unsalted butter at this stage, which I don't do...maybe add 1 Tb if you want). Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

While your polenta is baking, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add parsley and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add sage and tomatoes; cook 12 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add black pepper, and beans to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve polenta with bean mixture.


Redhead Readin' said...

Now, I knew that I would like this recipe when I saw it. Polenta is the food of the gods, after all. What surprised me, however, was that my meat loving room mates loved it too. Well done sir, well done.

Erndog said...

Great to hear Redhead...oh and I'm the redhead in the photo standing next to the "sir" ;-) Glad your roomies liked it too!