Monday, July 21, 2014

Rustic Cuisine?

     More fan-girl gushing here, my friends. This time about simple, delicious, so-called rustic cuisine that people have been eating for hundreds of years and will continue to eat for hundreds to come. That's probably the biggest disadvantage to being an American. We have no historic food culture. (That, and the fact that through our own actions {broadly speaking} we have a reputation of being pushy, loud-mouthed, arrogant bastards. If I ever get to travel, I swear I will use the very good manners I have been taught.)
     Granted, this reason is because we are a country of many different cultures, and believe me, I'm not complaining. We have access to so much amazing food, music, art, that there's plenty to 'borrow' if you're like me. (And, let's face it: being of English, Swede, Irish, Scots, Welsh and German descent, my own food cultures leave a lot to be desired. Unless you like scones. Which I do. Though I haven't had an opportunity to try any authentic or even Americanized {i.e. ruined} German food...except sauerkraut. Which I love. German readers, share recipes, I beg of you!)
     Anyway, here is what I made for dinner this evening. Probably (broadly) Italian (maybe Sicilian?), definitely delicious. Another Rachael Ray (which is why I'm thinking Sicilian): Parmesan Polenta with Mushrooms and Chard. Simple, unfussy, delicious. Comfort food at its best.

  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 cup quartered white mushrooms (I used an entire 10 ounce package) 
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (I used grated Asiago. I don't like Parm.)

     In medium pot, boil stock. Add polenta and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 20 minutes. In large skillet, cook garlic in EVOO over medium until golden, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes. Add chard and cook until wilted, 3 minutes; season. Stir cheese into polenta; season. Serve topped with mushroom mixture.


     And no, I'm not going to post daily about my dinner adventures (unless they get really wild) but if I manage to make something that makes me salivate while I'm cooking (I LOVE the smell of garlic cooking in good olive oil!!) and the first bite makes me say "Oh my god, this is GOOD!" I am definitely going to share it. Because something that causes gastric happiness should be shared with the world. Or at least with the people that drop by to read my ramblings.
     Speaking of olive oil, I am currently reading Mort Rosenblum's fascinating, informative and entertaining book Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit. It's making me want to plant olive trees and make my own olive oil. I live in Massachusetts. Not going to be a success. However, one can dream.
Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit

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