Monday, February 13, 2012

Book review and recipe

thoroughly enjoyed reading Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser. Amanda was a food columnist and editor for the New York Times, and in this book she interweaves her food-filled life with the story of how she met and fell in love with her husband. Each short chapter includes an interesting story about her life that centers around food - going to restaurants with friends, going to dinner for the first time at her in-laws, etc. - and concludes with the recipes that she ate or prepared.

When I started reading this book, I was in a cooking "slump." Early pregnancy, with it's exhaustion and food aversions, caused me to not want to be in the kitchen. I also find that the biggest deterrent to me cooking is not having any ideas of what to cook.  Lack of inspiration! This book cured that for me. I loved hearing her talk about food. I loved reading the recipes. I tried at least 5 of them, and they've all been delicious. I also checked out her cookbook from the library and have made several good things from it as well...

Amanda now has young twins and is no longer working for the New York Times, but she has a blog, Food52, with tons of good recipes on it. Here is one I made that was so good I've made it 3 times already:

Griddled Polenta Cakes with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Honey
The flavors go SO well together - it is a dish you will eat slowly and savor every bite! I have also found that caramelizing onions is my all-time favorite thing to do in the kitchen. The onions smell amazing as they cook and caramelize, and there is something relaxing about it as well. Am I weird?

Here is the recipe, that I adapted from her website:

1.5 cups whole milk
1-2 cups water
1 t kosher salt
1 cup polenta
1 T olive oil

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
2 oz goat cheese
honey, to drizzle

Boil milk, 1 cup water, and salt and slowly whisk in polenta. Turn heat to low and whisk for 10-15 minutes until polenta resembles thick oatmeal, adding more water if needed (it should be quite thick so it will set up). Set into a 9x9 baking dish and set aside to cool.

Melt oil and butter in skillet on medium-low and add onion and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Let onions cook until they are golden brown and caramelized (I let them stay on the stove for about an hour). The onions won't need much attention in the beginning as they are letting out all their water, but towards the end watch them carefully so they don't burn.

Once the polenta is cooled and firm, cut into squares or circles. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium in skillet and griddle both sides of the polenta. 

Top each griddled polenta cake with about 1 Tbs onions, 1 tsp goat cheese, and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...