Truffle Parmesan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu

“Challenges are what makes life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” Joshua J. Marine

Truffle Parmesan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
Busy lives can get very repetitive, almost monotonous, too predictable. Days go by fast and you find yourself looking for inspiration in the refrigerator while hungry mouths demand dinner. What do you do? You make the same familiar dish you’ve made many times before. You rely on it, you know it like the back of your hand. While there is nothing wrong with the same old familiar dish a new recipe could bring some spice and excitement to the dinner table. Some days it seems that I fill my shopping cart with the same old items and when it comes to cooking them I find myself in a rut.

Truffle Parmesan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
This time I challenged myself to cook with a new ingredient. I have never made polenta from scratch. I shy away from anything that requires lots of stirring or attention. In the past I used the precooked polenta log to make things easy. But it’s not the same as making it from scratch. Quick cooking polenta is easy and pretty quick. It takes on flavor really well and can be eaten with anything.

Truffle Parmesan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
In this recipe I wanted to create a comforting vegetarian meal without skimping on flavor that can be satisfying for meat lovers as well, aka my husband. Mission accomplished! And…… that egg takes it to the next level. If you ask me, everything is better with a little egg yolk on top. Creamy polenta infused with truffle oil and parmesan cheese topped with mushroom ragu and egg yolk is simply divine. If only you can smell it.

Truffle Parmesan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
Challenge yourself to learn something new. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Truffle Parmesan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup yellow polenta (corn meal), I used Bob's Red Mill
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • a few drops of black truffle oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • egg (poached or fried)
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a boil, stir in polenta and butter, reduce heat to simmer and cook about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add parmesan cheese and a few drops of truffle oil, mix well and remove from the heat. Cover, set aside.
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil, add mushrooms and onions. Saute on medium heat until the mushrooms develop a golden color. They should not be soggy. Season with salt and pepper. Add vermouth, reduce heat to simmer and cook another 3 minutes until the sauce reduces by half.
  4. Serve mushrooms on top of polenta topped with an egg. Enjoy

 

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Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs (Asian Inspired Tacos)

Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs (Asian Inspired Tacos)

There is a Mexican restaurant in New York City that serves some of the best short rib tacos I have EVER had. I say EVER here and I mean it. Having visited Mexico many times I would not use that term very lightly. Authentic tacos in Mexico are on a level all their own, but I am convinced magic is involved in making the short ribs at this restaurant. For a while now, I’ve been on a mission to create a recipe that could come close.

Ta Da!

I feel as if I am very close with this one.

Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs (Asian Inspired Tacos)

The braising liquid is super delicious and so sophisticated.  When the ribs are done cooking you’ll feel like sticking a straw into the pot and drinking it. What’s not to love about soy sauce, ginger, shiitake mushrooms and sake marrying together for a few hours in the oven. Add some sake to the pot and warm up the rest for a good time. ;) Love the stuff.

Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs (Asian Inspired Tacos)

Oh yeah, these short ribs freeze well for future enjoyment, so make a big batch and you’ll thank yourself another night.

I found that spicy Sriracha and pickled jalapeño slaw was just the right topping for these Asian inspired tacos. Shred some cabbage, add sliced pickled jalapeños then stir in Sriracha and mayo mixture. Drooling!

Enjoy!

Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs (Asian Inspired Tacos)

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs (Asian Inspired Tacos)
 
Prep time
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Recipe adopted from Bon Appetit
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 lbs short ribs
  • ½ cup dry shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup organic low sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup sake
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Put dry shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl, top with hot water and cover with a plate. Let soak.
  3. Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a heavy pot or a Dutch oven. Brown ribs a few minutes on each side. Do not overcrowd the pot, you want to brown the ribs not steam them. Best is to brown them in batches of a few.
  4. Set the ribs aside. Drain most of the oil leaving about 1 tbsp.
  5. Add ginger, garlic and scallions to the pot. Saute for a minute then add soy sauce, sake, stock and shiitake with their soaking liquid.
  6. Return the ribs back to the pot. Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 hour.
  7. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees, uncover the pot and cook another 30-45 min until the meat falls apart.
  8. Shred and enjoy in tacos.
Notes
Another serving idea: Simmer the cooking liquid on the stove until reduced by half. Spoon over the noodles with ribs.

 

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Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta

Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta

 “Better a life full childish dreams than a dreamless life”

One pot pastas, aka Wonderpots, are on the list of my favorite dinners to prepare. They are simple, quick and clean up friendly. It might be the easiest pasta you’ll ever prepare where even the pasta cooks right in the pot. Throw all your ingredients in and Vola! dinner is served.

For this recipe I used italian sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella, sort of like pizza turned into pasta dish. But the highlight here is all that fabulous sauce that settles to the bottom of the pot. It is full of incredible flavor leaving you desiring seconds. We could’t help ourselves and it was a smashing success especially with Briana.

Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta

What I love most about this miracle of a dish is how versatile it is. You can use a variety of ingredients, pastas and sauces. The end result is always delicious. I used a combination of diced canned tomatoes and jarred vodka sauce. I also used egg based farfalle but traditional farfalle will work as well. Since egg pasta cooks faster keep in mind that if using regular farfalle you might need to adjust the amount of liquid you add. Just keep an eye on it and add more if necessary. You want lots of sauce here.

Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta

Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta

Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta

Hope all of you are having a great week. Enjoy the rest of it. Weekend is just around the corner.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Sausage & Mushroom One Pot Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ jar (12 oz) vodka sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb italian sausage (5-6 links), casing removed, crumbled
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • bunch of basil
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • ¾ cup italian blend cheese
  • 2 cups of water
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven heat olive oil, add crumbled italian sausage and sauté until no longer pink. Drain most of the fat.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Cook over medium high heat until the pasta is fully cooked adding more water & vodka sauce if needed.
  4. Stir in the cheese, remove from heat.
  5. Serve immediately.

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