Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Nana Wears Prada

From going from a fridge that had maybe a beer and an old bag of frozen peas, to a well-stocked one bursting at the hinges, I am on a mission to use up everything before I leave.

At the same time, I have fallen in love with polenta recently (like almost everyone, after being petrified/bemused by it for so long). It screams autumn and winter, and goes so well with anything you can think of. Sauteed mushrooms with thyme. Slow-cooked beef. Lamb cutlets. Even fried eggs. So I made osso buco milanese with polenta. And since a little polenta goes a loooong way, I have so much of it that I hit my favourite blogs for recipe ideas. I also had lotsa lemons. And coincidently, I Love Milk And Cookies had a wee recipe for lemon polenta cookies, so, too easy. To be honest I usually skip over recipes with citrus - they're not something that interest me - but, just like you and L'Oreal, these are so worth it.

This recipe from BBC Food for Osso Buco Milanese is very simple and very good. Make sure you make the gremolata to sprinkle over the top of the hot meat, it really makes this dish something special (and be sure to spend a few extra minutes shopping the garlic and parsley finely for that delicate taste).

For the polenta, preheat the oven to 180C. Bring a cup of milk and a cup of chicken stock to the boil. Once it reaches the boil, trickle in half a cup of polenta and whisk constantly for a few minutes, lowering the heat, until it thickens. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and cover with a lid, baking in the oven for 1-2 hours. The grains melt while baking, creating the softest, creamiest polenta. Serve straight away or refridgerate till set, then cut into slices, grill or fry to crisp.

Jennifer of I Love Milk And Cookies has a quick and easy recipe for these delightful lemon polenta cookies. The smell of them baking in the oven is reason enough to make them - fresh and buttery. The polenta gives me them a sandy texture but they are not hard and brittle, or too buttery like some biscuits can be. Just a lovely, pale yellow cookie that is perfect with a cup of milk, tea, coffee, or to serve with cheese and dried fruit after dinner.


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