Sunday, February 14, 2010

Polenta with Spicy Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce is a traditional Spanish sauce. There are many different styles and it is very easy to make!

The Plan
Get the Polenta going.
Make the Romesco.

The Ingredients
For the Polenta
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Cornmeal (coarse)
2 Tbsp Butter*
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste

For the Romesco
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 cup Almonds, roasted or blanched
1 cup Roasted Red Pepper (roast your own peppers or just use jarred!)
1 large Tomato (or 1/2 can!)
2 slices crusty Bread, cubed**
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Paprika
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

The Method
Bring Chicken Stock to a boil in a large pot. When boiling, add Cornmeal, a little at a time, stirring constantly to incorporate it. Reduce to a simmer. Be careful at this point. The mixture tends to spit everywhere and it is quite hot. Keep kids and dogs away from the stove. At this point you want to cook the mixture between 20-30 minutes. Stir often as you want to reduce sticking as much as possible. When the Polenta is thick and creamy, remove from heat and add remaining ingredients! If you are feeling extra ambitious, throw the Polenta into an 8x10 pan (sprayed with Pam or something like it). You can then stick it in the fridge where it will congeal. Then cut the Polenta into fun shapes, dredge it in flour and pan fry it! If you're not feeling ambitious, then sit down and eat.

In the meantime, while the Polenta is cooking, heat a small saute pan on the stove with 1 Tbsp Olive Oil. Add the Garlic and cook until fragrant.

Put the Garlic and the Almonds in a food processor. Pulse until the Almonds are well chopped and uniform. Add the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomatoes. Pulse until combined. Add the Bread. Pulse until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and process until desired consistency. Some will like it a bit chunky, some very smooth. Taste it and see what you think! Heat Romesco on the stove until warm.

The Presentation
Spoon Romesco over Polenta! I served mine with Roasted Veggies (Mushrooms, Broccoli and Asparagus all on sale in the same week!) and Sage Roasted Chicken.

*I'm a geek. I used Smart Balance. (And then melted the lid into my stove. Eek.)

**I used one of the flat bun things from Arnolds. If you haven't tried them....they are fantastic and only 1 WW point!

By the way, I've decided that life is too short. I'm officially using my parent's wedding China as everyday dishes! (Don't worry, I hand wash. Still don't have a dishwasher.) I'm thinking about polishing the Silver soon also!

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