Wednesday, September 7, 2011

20 Dinners, 1 Day: Creamy Chicken with Soft Polenta

Photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

Another first in this household (who knew Rachel Ray would be introducing so many firsts to me?), I've never served polenta.  Well, I take that back.... I tried a long time ago, but the only polenta I could find was the kind in the tube that looks like cut and bake cookies.  It was... um, weird.  And I didn't even bother to serve it to the family because I knew they wouldn't touch it.  But I saw a cooking show once that talked about instant polenta (which is basically corn meal), so I thought I'd give that one a try.

It was so yummy that I'm hooked.  Granted, what made is so yummy, namely heavy cream and lots of cheese, isn't so figure-friendly, so I'm going to have to watch how often I serve it up.  But wow, it was delicious!  I even had the leftovers for my lunch today and served cold bits of it to Ava for breakfast.  She gobbled it up.

Abe really liked this recipe, polenta and all.  I suspect that it's very similar in flavor to a chicken pot pie, minus the crust.  Just creamy and yummy and good.  And like all of the 20 dinners, it came together in a snap.

The fontina can be found in the deli cheese area.  It melts down into a cream, so it's perfect for something like this.  It adds a wonderful flavor, too.

Creamy Chicken with Soft Polenta
1 onion, minced 
3 tbsp. butter 
10 oz. sliced cremini (or baby bella or button mushrooms)
2 tbsp. flour 
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
2 cups Roasted Squash, chopped 
1 1/2 cups Pulled Chicken 
1 cup peas 
Salt and pepper 
1 cup instant polenta
1 cup fontina cheese, chopped

In 12-inch skillet, cook onion in 2 tbsp. butter. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Stir in flour for 1 minute. Pour in 1 1/4 cups cream and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in squash, chicken and peas; season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Cook polenta in 3 1/2 cups boiling water with 1/2 tsp salt until thickened, 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup cream, 1 tbsp. butter and fontina until smooth. Serve chicken over polenta.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

20 Dinners, 1 Day- Pulled Pork and Slaw Sandwiches

Photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

Wondering if Abe would like these pulled pork sandwiches is like wondering if Adam would like to watch Elmo.  I would've taken my own picture of the meal, but Abe's mitts were all over it in a nanosecond.

Not much to write except that this is for sure a new go-to quicky "what the heck do I make for dinner tonight??" meal.  Abe loved it so much that he replicated the slaw the next day just to snack on.

Pulled Pork and Slaw Sandwiches

3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups coleslaw mix (7 ounces)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 cups Pulled Pork
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
4 hamburger buns

In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup vinegar, sugar and crushed red pepper; add coleslaw and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Toss and let stand at least 15 minutes.  Pour off liquid and stir in mayonnaise. 

In saucepan, cook pork and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar, worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons water over medium heat to heat through, 2 to 3 minutes.  Divide pork among buns, top with some slaw and serve remainder alongside.