Every Tuesday we recieve our fish CSA share, and this week we received Cod. Tuesdays are always rather fun food-wise. We don’t know what we are going to get, so we don’t want to plan in advance, but coming up with a spur of the moment meal after work can be challenging, especially as neither one of us has extensive fish-cooking experience. This is where Moosewood has been a life-saver, and a source of inspiration. Last night, we had Cod Poached in Tomato Sauce over Polenta.
Simple idea. Tomato sauce of some type, simmering. Add fishy. Fishy takes a bath in sauce. Cover and cook until fishy is opaque and flakes easily. Serve over complex carbohydrate of some sort. Ta-da! We used tomatoes, onions, garlic, fennel and bell pepper. Olives and capers would be a good addition.
Not too long ago, we were asked what our ‘go to’ recipes were for a standard day. Laura replied with her staple stir-fry recipe, which can be found here. However, this meal is more indicative of a Theresa standard meal. Pre-locavore challenge, we almost always had a can of crushed tomatoes and a bag of whole wheat or alternative grain pasta. With these two things, I can make a meal. Pasta, especially whole wheat, is a really great complex carbohydrate, and a wonderful vehicle for any type of tomato sauce, vegetable saute, or fresh vegetable chopped salad. Alas, pasta is generally not bought any more, and homemade pasta takes a little longer than we usually have to make dinner. It has been replaced by polenta, a perfectly acceptable quick cooking carbohydrate. No matter what anyone tells you, it is not hard to make.
- 3 cups of water, or a mixture of milk and water
- 1 cup of cornmeal, polenta mix, etc.
- Cheese/butter/cream/herbs (optional)
- Bring water to a healthy boil, season with salt.
- Using a whisk, briskly stir in the cornmeal as you pour it into the pot in a steady stream.
- Whisk the crap out of your rapidly thickening corn porridge.
- Turn off the heat and continue to whisk briskly.
- Swear profusely as it becomes really thick and starts to splatter a bit.
- Remove from heat, cover with lid and let it set while you make the rest of your dinner.
- Stir in any of your options. Be careful to let the polenta cool a bit before adding cream, so the cream does not curdle and make it funky looking
So, I have probably not made ‘real’ polenta and somewhere an Italian grandmother is dying, but I like it, Laura likes it, Birdy likes it and it takes maybe 5-10 minutes of actual work. About as much time as pasta. That’s a good thing in my book, and ground dent corn from around here makes really great polenta. Win-win situation.
We also had a wonderful snack right before dinner.
Laura went to the Copley Square Farmer’s Market on the way to pick up fish, and bought lots of yummy dairy from Narragansett Creamery, including this delectable Angelito cheese. It is a yogurt cheese that is like a cream cheese, and it was splendid mixed with garlic and herbs. The raspberries are from Stillman’s Farm, grapes from Red Fire’s fruit share, home-made crackers and carrots.
Laura also froze our giant stash of ginger from Old Friends Farm, which should keep us going for most of the winter. The fresh baby ginger freezes really well, and you can grate it, still frozen, into any dish (or tea) you like. Also very good stuff.
Boston’s Local Food Festival is quickly approaching! If you live in the area, it looks like it is going to be a great day, so go check out the list of events and speakers!