sunday breakfast – polenta and eggs

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Polenta and Egg Breakfast

Polenta and Egg Breakfast

I was talking with photographer friend Jeff Spirer the other day. He usually comes up with interesting food ideas, often dishes I have never tried before. He mentioned that he made a spin off of shrimp and grits that night. Basically he married Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Shrimp Diane recipe with good old fashioned creamy grits and Parmesan cheese. I’m going to have to give this a try.

Somewhere along the way polenta was mentioned which led to me looking it up and then picking up a bag from the grocery. That night I made a cup of the polenta to just get the feel for it. I liked it and got the feeling that I would be able to make good use of it in future meals.

Having grown up in the South this was the first time polenta ever hit my plate but it was not an altogether unfamiliar taste or texture to me since we had grits growing up and for me grits are breakfast food. Continue reading

17 March 2012 – St. Patrick’s Day Sandwich

If you are thinking this post is going to be about some monstrosity of a mustard infused corned beef, cabbage and potato sandwich with green bread – you would be wrong. It is not that I am opposed to something like that …. maybe not the green bread, it is just that I didn’t have those ingredients this St. Patrick’s Day. Since we are on the subject of this day here is a link that will tell you all you need to know about the meaning of the day, its origin and what it has evolved into. Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Okay so this does happen to be about a sandwich that I just happened to make on St.Patrick’s Day. Many times making a sandwich is a pretty mundane exercise that we go through in order to quickly knock down that hunger that has been building. I didn’t want to just slap some meat, cheese and perhaps a  vegetable or two together between some bread and call it a day. I wanted to make, create, build or assemble something outstanding. I wanted to make something that looked almost too good to eat. I wanted to be a sandwich engineer or perhaps sandwich artist.

I started reading up on various sandwiches and comparing the ingredients to what I had on hand. Turns out that we had exactly what was needed to make that classical BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) Sandwich plus a little something extra. Food historian John Mariani claimed the BLT was the second most popular sandwich in the United States residing just behind the ham sandwich and in 2008 a poll reveled that the BLT was the most popular sandwich in  the United Kingdom.

Okay so BLT it is and here is what goes in the classic version –

  • Bread
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayonnaise

That’s it – simple is good. Depending on the quality of ingredients you use this sandwich can go from ordinary to extraordinary.

We had some good bread to take advantage of. An artisan sour dough loaf that had some nice texture and would become very flavorful once buttered and toasted. It is an investment in flavor when you buy fresh baked breads. They don’t keep as long as the preservative loaded Wonder Bread types but you will finish it before it goes bad because it is just so darned good. Continue reading