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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Take Time

Did anyone else blink July first or second, and suddenly find themselves on July 31st going what happened? Undoubtedly, everyone has experienced that before in some form or another, and for whatever reason. For me, starting a new Monday-Friday 8-5 and having "normal people" hours, running a booth of baked goods at a local market, and sorting out (or trying in some form to sort out) our future plans,  have contributed to that feeling.

Whatever the reason though, often it seems like we don't realize what has caused time to suddenly slip from our hands and jump to warp speed. It's only after the fact that we can stop and reflect about what produced this whirlwind of time commitments and constraints. Reflecting on this loss of time often creates a sometimes even longer list of things you didn't do or missed or wanted to get done but couldn't, etc., etc., all of which can create a very unpleasant view of how you're spending your time these days. But luckily, I think I've found a solution. Naturally, it takes the form of food. 

Garlic Scape Polenta Topped with Mushroom and Garlic Scape Saute

2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
2 Tbsp Butter, Divided
1 Cup Diced Garlic Scapes, Divided (from about 8 long scapes)
1/2 Cup Cornmeal
2-1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 tsp salt
 8 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced thick and halved
1/4 Large Onion Diced 
Additional Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In medium pan, melt 1 tbsp butter and heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium high heat. Add 1/2 cup of the garlic scapes and saute over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until they begin to become tender. Set aside.
2. In stock pot, bring 1 quart vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Very slowly, add cornmeal to broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer stirring often.
3. After five minutes, add garlic scapes, 1/2 tsp salt and stir to distribute. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
4. Meanwhile, in medium pan, melt remaining butter and oil over medium high heat. Add garlic scapes and saute 2-3 minutes. Add onions, mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and continue to saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms browned.
5. To serve, spoon polenta onto plate and top with serving spoon full of mushroom and garlic scape saute. Take a breath, and enjoy.
This is really a simple dish. Sauteed mushrooms and garlic scapes atop a garlic scape polenta. Easy peasy. But the entire dish provides everything you need to stop and take time to reflect and enjoy the moment, stopping that vicious little cycle in its tracks. First of all, when making polenta, all you really have is time to think. Well, and stir of course. Don't be to hasty in cutting this step short, not only do you not not want lumpy polenta, but the methodical stirring can be an instant tranquilizer to calm any frazzled nerves, the first step needed to step back from your routine.

The second component of the dish may be a piece of cake for anyone spending time much time in the kitchen. Sauteing is typically quick, letting you get from point A to point B, but at the same time produces the wonderful aromas of garlic, butter and mushrooms coming together that urges you to take a deep breath.

Finally, the best part, eating the dish. Perhaps because of its simplicity, this is the perfect dish from beginning to end to help you step and breathe before you loose control of your time. With how hectic our life is getting and will continue to be for a little while, we may be eating this a lot! Daniel will be making friends with the farmer who brings scapes to the farmer's market fairly soon.



Magic of Spice said...

What a delightful dish...Garlic is good:)

Angie's Recipes said...

Simple but definitely delicious and comforting!

Ana Powell said...

Wishing you all the best.
A lovely and very delicious dish.

Anonymous said...

I woke up today and couldn't believe it was August already. It is crazy how time flies! Your post made me realize that it was time to cook a good meal, sit down to enjoy it with awesome people and slow things down more often. Thanks for that :)

Drick said...

wonderful and beautiful polenta - love it with cornmeal and the garlic flavor - not just July, but the rest of the year has too....

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

yum, this looks and sounds delicious! i would consider this a comfort dish, one i could enjoy all year long.

Emily Malloy said...

That looks delish! And I agree completely, July came and went before I got a chance to exhale! What the heck?!

Jen Cheung said...

that can just melt in my mouthhhhh!

have a fabulous day!
jen @

Tracy said...

For some reason I wouldn't mind eating this for a second breakfast today :) I miss polenta. We don't eat it nearly enough.

M. said...

this is beautiful recipe...I've always loved polenta-mushroom combo!!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I really like this idea! I hope that there are still garlic scapes at the market so that I can try this recipe.

CC11 said...

This looks so unbelievably tasty - what a yummy meal

FOODESSA said...

Dawn and Daniel...what a lovely dish to keep reminding us that we need to slow down. I've got to admit...homemade polenta doesn't figure in my cooking only because I got burnt once doing it...needless to say...a mental block has installed itself. I'm fortunate to have found a quality tube of polenta which has impressed me quite a lot...and adding the portobello mushrooms would certainly be the bonus ;o)

Thanks for sharing and flavourful wishes,

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