Dog Sledding Mt. Bachelor Bend Oregon
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Despite less than ideal weather, the Silver Fox and I are heading to Bend, Oregon, this morning for a rather unique adventure. We're going to participate in a dog sled outing that will take us up, down, around and through trails around Mt. Bachelor, which is a major ski area in Oregon. We registered for the trip last summer, when temperatures were soaring and the only precipitation in the area was perspiration. We've been told to expect a misting rain this morning, but since this something that we both have always wanted to do, we plan to carry on wearing ponchos if necessary. The trip was one of many outdoor adventures offered by a community center in Eugene, and we enrolled in it as soon as registration was open. I know we will have a great time, even if we end up a bit colder and wetter than originally planned. Fortunately, we neither freeze nor melt. I wanted to feature a recipe related to our short trip, even if its connection was tenuous. I first thought of Eskimo pies, then I played with the idea of a Baked Alaska, but I finally settled on mush for reasons are that are obvious and need not be explained. So, here is my recipe for polenta which is also known as mush. Now I want you to steel yourselves 'cause you know it's coming. Ready? Mush you huskies.
Cornmeal Mush - Polenta...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by The Silver Spoon
8 cups water, divided use
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal*
1 to 2 tablespoons butter, optional
1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*Cook's note: Texture of mush is determined by size of grain. Fine, medium or coarse grain polenta or corn meal can all be used, but will yield different textures. DO NOT USE PRE-MADE POLENTA for this recipe.
1) Bring 4 cups water to a boil in one pot. Add salt to water. Bring remaining water to a boil in a second pot.
2) Slowly sprinkle polenta into salted water, stirring constantly. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of boiling water from other pot, and lower temperature to a very low simmer. Stir frequently and add additional boiling water, a tablespoon or two at a time, whenever polenta starts to become stiff and dry. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir in butter and cheese until incorporated. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Polenta with Mushroom and Wine Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Mark Bittman
1 recipe basic polenta, above
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon stock or water
Heat butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender and fragrant. Add mushrooms, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and have released their liquid, 10-15 minutes. Add rosemary, wine and tomato paste, cooking over medium heat until reduced by half. Stir in cornstarch to thicken. Serve over warm polenta. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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