Saturday, September 25, 2010

polenta perfection

The polenta turned out great. My prep was a cross between standard grits and couscous: I added olive oil, butter, a bit of salt and pepper, and some powdered garlic. Once the polenta got firm, it was simply a matter of cutting it into hockey pucks, then placing the pucks bottom side up on the plate to present their smoother faces to the world.

The sauce also turned out well, but was still a bit watery; I should have simmered it at a higher temperature to reduce it further. In the photo below, you can see some of the runniness; click to enlarge.

The water creatures were tilapia and shrimp; the land creature was probably pig, or cow, or a combination thereof, in the form of slightly spicy Italian sausage. I had hoped that the sausage would prove fatty enough to cook the shrimp and tilapia in, but it turned out to be surprisingly lean. I ended up adding a bit of olive oil and stirring the sausage in it after removing the meat from its skin. Then I lightly salted and peppered the shrimp and tilapia before introducing them to the skillet; they all cooked up nicely.

To get the effect you see in the photo, I separated the protein: some shrimp, fish, and sausage were put on a plate, and another portion was mixed with the sauce (a crude marinara). I put the un-sauced protein on the plate first, then ladled on the meaty sauce. It's a shame the sauce was still so runny despite 30 minutes' simmering, but I'm pretty sure my mistake was to simmer at too low of a temperature. Still, the ensemble tasted great, even though the plating isn't pretty. I need to think about buying some fancier dishes if I'm going to keep foodblogging.


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