Weekend Bachelor Eats: Chicken Livers on Polenta?
I got an email from my husband's cousin Rich, who is a transplanted New Jersey guy, professional photographer, living in Cave Creek, Arizona in the desert with his wife and daughter.
(He doesn't actually live in the desert, he does have a house, complete with big kitchen and big man grill outside).
He mentioned that his wife and daughter were going on a school trip for 2 weeks, and he would be home alone.
He was excited to cook all the foods they don't like or eat.
He has an obsession with all things bacon.
Chocolate covered bacon, bacon cookies, etc.
I sent him Kat's post this week, bacon gelato and her dark chocolate bacon cupcakes! So, I figured he would be living on pounds of Oscar Mayer fried bacon strips, hot dogs, burgers, pizza and crap for 2 weeks of bachelor cooking.
But no.......this dude made Crostini di Polenta con funghi Trifolati. Sauteed chicken livers and onions on polenta! Grilling his polenta in that 105+ degree heat ("but it's a dry heat").
A man after my own heart.
I guess living in the desert makes you do weird things.
His Italian roots are clearly showing thru.
Thanks for guest posting this weekend! Here is Rich's recipe.
Crostini di Polenta con funghi Trifolati
Recipe is fairly simple... Even a guy could do it! Remember, this is a recipe for one, with one leftover.
3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-5 white mushrooms, sliced
1 pkg shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (you can subtitute any variety of mushroom)
1/4 Vidalia onion sliced thinly
1 clove garlic sliced very thinly
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped, plus 1 sprig for garnish
Pinch sea salt
Pinch cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sherry (I used Harvey's Bristol Cream)
Shaved or shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
For the Polenta:
In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat. Slowly add the cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. When all the cornmeal has been added, reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the olive oil.
In a 13"x9"x2” baking dish, lightly spray PAM or coat with olive oil. Spread the cooked polenta into the dish and even out. Put in refrigerator and cool for 20-30 minutes.
While the Polenta is setting, fire up the grill to medium. After the polenta has set, coat very lightly with olive oil and put on grill, 4-5 minutes per side.
For the Mushroom Topping:
While the Polenta is grilling, heat a large sauté pan on med-high heat. Add olive oil then sliced onions. Cook for a minute or two and then add the mushrooms, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown.
While the mushrooms are caramelizing, fire up another sauté pan and add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Then add the chicken livers and cook until done, about 2 minutes per side.
Just as the livers are done, add the 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to the mushroom mixture and then give it a shot or two of sherry and cook for another 30 seconds.
Plate the polenta and cut into triangles if desired.
Add the mushroom mixture on top of the polenta.
Plate the chicken livers and add the sprig of rosemary for garnish.
Sprinkle the Parmigiano Reggiano on top of the crostinis
Get a glass of wine, turn the ball game on, and enjoy.