April 1, 2011

A Very Lenten Lunch: Fried Eggs and Cheese over Creamy Polenta

This Lenten lunch is anything but depriving. I know, we're supposed to be less indulgent or more modest during lent, but I have problems doing that. During lent I would rather do something than take something away... like, I try to be nicer or I remember to pray every night before bed. The doing instead of taking during lent led me to this lunch. 

The warm, creamy polenta is already indulgent and satisfying enough on its own. Then it gets smothered with gently fried eggs and warm feta cheese. The minute my fork cut through the egg yolk it poured into the polenta and was soaked up. Every bite was incredibly rich and satisfying. This is a meal that would be wonderful for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, whether you're observing the holiday season or simply aiming for a meatless weeknight meal. One thing is for certain  -- I was not missing meat on this Friday during lent for a minute. 

Creamy Polenta: Adapted from Wolfgang Puck. Serves 3-4
2 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup quality chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup polenta or cornmeal
salt and pepper to taste
3 oz. cheese of choice (I used provolone and parmesan, but other great ones are fontina, gruyere, gorgonzola and mozzarella)
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1 T. dried basil

Directions: In a steamer, or a heavy saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and clear. Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the milk and cheese, whisking when it comes time to gradually pour in the polenta to avoid lumps. Cook until steamer switches to warm, or on the stovetop for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the cheese and milk, salt and pepper to taste, and stir again. Press the steamer cook button down again, or continue to cook and stir over the stovetop. When steamer switches to Keep Warm, or when polenta is thick in consistency, you are done. Stir in dried basil.

Fried Eggs and Cheese:
Add 1 t. olive oil to a small skillet and preheat over medium. Crack two eggs directly into the pan once it is hot and turn the heat to medium low, allowing the egg to cook until the centers are barely set. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with sea salt and cheese of choice. Allow the cheese to warm through, 1-2 minutes, then add freshly ground pepper. Gently remove from pan with spatula and serve atop the creamy polenta.

1 comment:

  1. And I like that you served it with a pear on the side, too. That's my kind of meal. I'm with you, I would eat this any time of year and not feel deprived. (My husband, though, might not agree.)



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