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With summer approaching and my daughter bringing a very hungry firefighter home for the weekend, I dusted off some favorite classic recipes and whipped up one of our favorites. Old time macaroni salad. Finely dice 1 large onion. Dice several stalks of celery and 3 large carrots. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon.
Years ago, my brother requested that I create lasagna cupcakes. This was before anyone had ever heard of lasagna cupcakes; a Google search for lasagna cupcakes today will reveal that lasagna cupcakes have been created many times by all manner of food bloggers and chefs. Sadly, I didn't jump on my brother's idea - I hadn't yet embraced the world of savory cupcakes.
Let's talk about all the great things you can do with a thick, shapeable, structured polenta. Don't get me wrong, I love a hearty, satisfying, sloppy-textured bowl of soft polenta with its porridge-like spirit now and then, but over the past few days I've been thinking about all the creative things you can do with a thicker polenta base. The premise is simple, bring a bit of liquid to a simmer and add in enough polenta to create a structured dough. Cook until the mixture is thick enough that you can spread it and it will hold its shape.
I did the recipe exactly as follows, but found it to be rather bland when all was said and done. I don't know if maybe the recipe called for too much pasta, and not enough cheese sauce, but it felt like I was just eating pasta, broccoli and a hint of cheese. I had to add another 3/4 c. of milk just to make the sauce wet instead of thick and dry, and after mixing it in with the pasta and broccoli, I ended up needing to add another small handful of parmesan, 1/2 c. cheddar, 1/4 tsp. garlic and some more pepper. Even then, I didn't like it enough to bother making it again, it just made it edible for tonight. All in all, more than slightly disappointing.