Saturday, September 21, 2013

I don't take pretty blog photos....

...but my food tastes delicious. See, my photos suck because I have either a point and shoot camera and piss-poor lighting or a camera phone and, well...piss-poor lighting. Either way my photos don't really lend themselves to a successful food blog. I'm hoping my writing helps in that category, but then again I just used the phrase "piss-poor" twice in a post about food, so I'm pretty much screwed.

I also have a horrible habit of forgetting to take photos of the process in which I take to get to the delicious food and instead just take a photo of the end product, leaving you, the reading probably thinking, "well...great, it sounds delicious, though her presentation is crap, look at that, she just kind of slopped it on a plate like a neanderthal and didn't even bother to take photos to show me HOW to get it to look like this hot mess. Ugh!"

Trust me when I say...don't judge a book by it's cover people. While my photos might not always (or ever) look like they came out of Cooks Illustrated or were made by Deb over at Smitten Kitchen (seriously, my favorite cooking blog, ever...that woman is pure genius) the recipes I acquire and often adapt are amazingly delicious. I spend hours on Pinterest so you don't have to.

You're welcome.

Today's recipe comes from a blog I found on, duh, Pinerest! This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone if you've been reading my blog at all....ever. It's called Aunt Clara's Kitchen and is self described as a "collection of traditional Dominican and Dominican-Inspired recipes, home ideas, crafts and chronicles of the Auntie's adventures."

I adapted it slightly from the original. It really didn't need my adaptations, Aunt Clara has a fantastic recipe here, however I can't help myself from monkeying around with recipes I find and making them my own.  Please be sure to check out her blog, her photos are beautiful and her blog has many tasty looking recipes. 

Polenta and Mushroom Casserole

I have no idea how people have such nice presentation for their blogs...

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                     Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes                      Yield: 6 servings
    For the base
  • 2 cups of polenta
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 Jalepeno,diced (this was one of my add-in's)
  • 1 cup (or 1 can) of sweet corn
  • 1/3 cup of raisins (optional but definitely adds to the dish!)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (to cover the baking pan)
  • For the filling
  • 1.5 lb of portobello mushrooms
  • 0.5 lb of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1/2"-pieces
  • 1 large white onion, cut into very small cubes
  • 1/3 cup of basil, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • For the sauce
  • 5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic with sundried tomato (the jarred kind, this was an accidental add-in that ended up tasting great)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
    To make the filling
  1. Heat the oil over very low heat.
  2. Add the onion.
  3. Cook until onions are transparent.
  4. Add mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Cook until the mushrooms are tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the basil.
  8. Reserve.
  9. To make the base
  10. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  11. Mix polenta, water, sweet corn, jalepeno, raisins, salt and sugar in a deep pot.
  12. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly.
  13. When the polenta is cooked and it starts lifting from the bottom remove from the heat.
  14. Cover a 2 quart-baking pan with olive oil.
  15. Pour half of the polenta mix and spread in an even layer.
  16. Add the filling and smooth it out.
  17. Spread the remaining polenta mix in an even layer and smooth it out with a fork.
  18. Place in the oven and cook until the top is light golden.
  19. To make the sauce
  20. Heat olive oil over very low heat.
  21. Add garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stir and do not let it burn.
  22. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender.
  23. Remove the twigs from the oregano and add the leaves to the pan.
  24. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  25. Using a potato masher, mash the sauce over the heat until there are no big clumps.
  26. Pour into a sauce dish.

  27. Serve with the sauce on top and enjoy! 

*Notes about my changes* I served with Sriracha drizzled over the top, we like heat in our household and Sriracha has a great flavor :) I also added a handful of Sungolds (the small orange cherry tomatoes) to the sauce because he have an over abundance of them in our garden. Very tasty!!

Our most recent veggie harvest.  We currently have 18 ripe red tomatoes!


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