Week 7, Recipes 1 & 2: Creamy Polenta with Parmesan and Sausage & Rapini and Garlic

The first is my NYT recipe premiere

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 good-quality sweet Italian sausages
1 cup medium-to-coarse cornmeal
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, put cornmeal in a medium saucepan along with 1 cup water and whisk well to make a slurry; continue whisking mixture to eliminate any lumps. Put pan over medium-high heat, sprinkle with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, whisking frequently and adding water as needed to keep mixture loose and free of lumps, between 3 and 4 more cups. If mixture becomes too thick, simply add a bit more water; consistency should be similar to sour cream’s.
3. Polenta will be done in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on grind. Add cheese and butter. Taste and add salt, if necessary, and lots of pepper; serve topped with sausages.
Yield: 4 servings.

Results: I halved this recipe.  It was pretty yummy but IDK if I'll ever make polenta again even though I did find it less high maintenance than expected.

And my side dish is courtesy of Rachael Ray
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches rapini, about 2 pounds, bottom 3 or 4 inches of stems trimmed away
  • 1 cup low sodium, no-fat chicken broth
Heat garlic in oil over medium heat in a large skillet until garlic sizzles in oil. Add the rapini, as much as you can fit in pan at a time. Turn and coat with oil as you wilt the greens. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes to soften the bitterness of the greens. 

Results: Not bad.  I cooked it a little too long but it had none of the bitterness people say these greens can have.  It definitely needed salt, though so I added a generous amount.