pork

Day 209: A surprisingly good winter supper (in July)

July 28, 2007

After a long day in the sunshine playing with Baby A- at the beach this morning, and then in the garden at the new house this afternoon,- we came home to make a hearty winter supper, Pumpkin Polenta with Chorizo and Black Beans [recipe]. We were extraordinarily sceptical about this recipe, being no fans of polenta, but actually this meal was excellent. It was extremely easy and quick to make, with tasty distinctive results. The polenta is made by bringing chicken stock and a dash of butter to a boil, then adding in some tinned pumpkin. This seemed really odd, but the pumpkin sort of dissolved into the stock and looked very creamy. The polenta was poured into the pan, stirred into the mix and it was pretty much done. Salt, pepper, thyme and Manchego cheese were stirred in, and the polenta was ready to serve. Meanwhile, chopped chorizo was stir fried in a tiny touch of olive oil (we used a spray), with onions added after a few minutes. Once the onions were softened, black beans and roasted red peppers joined the rest, everything was warmed through and then piled on top of the polenta. Chopped parsley was sprinkled on top of the meal to garnish.

This meal was one of those unexpected surprises that makes this project worthwhile. We never would have looked at the recipe and decided to cook the meal. Indeed in all honesty we were prepared to hate this meal, it just didn’t seem like something we would enjoy. Fortunately our preconceptions were entirely wrong, and this meal went down a treat. Also, we ate pumpkin and black beans, which are rare ingredients in our cooking repertoire. The pumpkin lightened the polenta so that it didn’t feel very heavy and stodgy. With the added cheese, I could actually see, possibly for the first time ever, why people enjoy polenta. The chorizo and black bean mixture was tangy and substantial without being overwhelmingly hefty. Overall, this meal is a winner, and had it been any time from November to March, this meal would have been perfect. Tomorrow we revisit this meal with Pumpkin Polenta with Italian Sausage and Fennel. We are no fans of fennel, but hope that our opinions on this vegetable may be changed by the meal. The following day we will be having Vegetarian Pumpkin Polenta with Spinach and White Beans.

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