Monday, May 26, 2008

polenta and judy blume

Hosting book club gave me a great opportunity to try some new breakfast and dessert dishes. We were reading (but only pseudo-discussing) Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. Friends brought fruit and bread and juice, and I made Culinary in the Desert's Cheesy Polenta and Egg Casserole. I've only made their sweets before, but many of their savory dishes look delicious. This one was yummy! It was a little saltier than I'd prefer, but that was my fault. One, I didn't read the recipe carefully enough and mixed in all the parmesan with the polenta, rather than reserving half to sprinkle on top. Two, knowing how bland polenta usually is, I salted it. But given that I was mixing in fontina and parmesan, I probably could've been more judicious with the salt.

I have to admit that I'm a little scared of my broiler. I have only used it a few times - usually for frittata-type dishes - and it tends to go from not-done to overdone like that - so I have to watch it really carefully. In this case, you bake the polenta with the eggs on top, then use the broiler to set the eggs. They were totally set on top, but I wanted to make sure the whites were cooked through underneath. And personally, I don't like runny yolks, but I get that other folks do. I ended up broiling for about 4 minutes, and there were still a couple of spots where I didn't think the whites were done enough.

Oh, and I discovered in making this dish that all of my square pans are 8", not 9" - that probably made some impact in terms of amount of surface area for the eggs to set. Maybe next time a springform would be a good substitution?

Anyway, a nice weekend breakfast, but once all the eggs and sausage were eaten, I didn't find the leftover polenta appealing enough to hang onto.

PS It's not an accident that one section has no sausage. One of our book club friends is a vegetarian and I wasn't sure whether she was coming. Also, the eggs somehow kind of look like boobs to me. Is that just weird? Probably.


Anonymous said...

Boobs! That's the diff between Croque Monsieurs and Croque Madames, get it? Eggs, boobs. Eggs, boobs. Nevermind.

Suzanne said...

I'm perplexed... I looked at the recipe -- it calls for 2 oz of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but then says 1/4 cup in the dish, then the reamaining 1/4 cup sprinkled on top. Isn't a cup 8 oz? So, 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup = 1/2 cup, or 4 oz. Is my math wrong? Or, are they allowing "room" for the grating process? Is the amount of cheese by weight or volume?

Suzanne said...

And the boobs comment - I can't even go there... Ask your dad what he thinks! :-)

jami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jami said...

Maybe they didn't write the recipe as clearly as possible, so I did some research. A cup isn't always 8 oz - that's a volume/liquid measurement. A dry cup can be all over the place. For example, a cup of granulated sugar is 7 oz, and a cup of powdered sugar is 4 oz. Don't even get me started on cups of flour.

2 oz of parmesan cheese equals 1/2 cup according to So I guess the recipe is technically right.

And I guess I did really use 1/4 cup in the polenta but just sprinked on 1-2 T on the top. It would've been way too salty with more.