This month's Cooking Light magazine happens to hold a bunch of recipes I'd like to try so last night I whipped up their Blue Cheese Polenta with Vegetables. Of course they meant it to be vegetarian, but there's no way our resident carnivore would have been satisfied with that so I added some chicken and apple sausages to round out the menu.
The only thing I couldn't decide was whether to use yellow polenta or white grits and really, is there a difference? After a little web research I found this article in the St. Petersburgh Times that said "Downtown grits and their uptown relative, polenta, may seem a world apart. But both, made from ground corn, are similar enough to substitute for each other."
So there you go. As you can see, I used grits. I also changed the method and browned the sausage, then finished cooking them by a quick braise on top of the vegetables. The apple flavor in the chicken sausage went very well with the sweetness of the vegetables and the gorgonzola in the creamy grits. Just for good measure, I added a smidge of goat's cheese that I happened to have in my cheese drawer as well which really took away the sharpness of the gorgonzola.
Blue Cheese Polenta (Grits) with Vegetables and Chicken Sausage (Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2011)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1 pound chicken sausage (I used apple flavored)
Wondra instant blending flour
3/4 cup quick cooking polenta or grits (I used grits)
3 cups milk (I used homo)
1/2 cup water
1 ounce goat’s cheese
3 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven and dust sausages lightly with flour, shaking off excess. Brown evenly over medium high heat and remove from pan. Set aside. In same pot add onion, peppers and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring briefly to break up vegetables. Add white wine, and then return sausages to pot. Lower heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are softened and sausages are firm to the touch and cooked through.
Meanwhile in a heavy medium sized pot, heat milk and water to boiling. Whisk in grits (polenta) and cook, stirring often for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Taste for seasoning, adding salt as required.
A year ago - Pasta with Lamb Ragout