Tag Archives: white wine

Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant

Not too long ago I was telling you about my friend Meaghin’s wonderful blog- Cheery Observations.  She posts beautiful pictures and recipes to match it.  I wish we lived closer to each other, this way I could come over for dinner at least once a week.

Back in August Meaghin posted a recipe for Sweetcorn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce.  It’s a meal full of vegetables- so I definitely wanted to give this one a try.  And I was not disappointed, not one bit.  If you do anything this weekend- please make this recipe.  Delicious!

I did make alterations from Meaghin’s recipe, but I give her full credit for finding this one!

I do have one great product for all of you to try out in your kitchen.  Around here I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods, but I’m sure other stores have them as well.  It’s tomato paste in a tube!  I have never been able to use that little can all at once, so the tube is a great way of preserving the paste until I need it once again.  Add it to your shopping list!

Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant
Adapted from: Cheery Observations

6 ears of corn
3 tbsp olive oil
2 1/4 cup of water + 7 tbsp of water
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium/large eggplant, cut into smaller pieces (the size of a quarter)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup of white wine (we used a dry)
2 large or 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp butter, diced
7 oz feta
2 tsp pepper

Remove the leaves and silk from each of the ears of corn.  While standing each corn on its flat tip, shave off the corn kernels.  Put all of the corn kernels into a sauce pan, cover them with the 2 1/4 cup of water and cook for about 15 minutes.

While the corn in cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, garlic and eggplant.  Sauté on medium heat for about 15 minutes- or until the eggplant turns lightly brown.  Add the tomato paste, and mix it up with the vegetables.  Once the paste is absorbed, add the wine and cook for about a minute.  Finally, add the tomatoes, water (7 tbsp), 2 tsp salt, oregano, basil  and jalapeño.  Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.

While the eggplant is still cooking, drain the water from the corn kernels but keep the leftover liquid.  Add all of the corn into a food processor.  Process until the consistency is mushy (looks like polenta).  Return the liquid and mushy corn into the pan.  Cook for another 10 minutes while stirring it, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

When the eggplant and corn polenta have been cooked, stir in the butter and feta cheese into the corn mixture.  Stir well until the butter and cheese have melted, and become incorporated by the corn mixture.  Finally, add 2 tsp of salt and pepper, stir some more so everything is well combined.

Finally, spoon out the polenta on plates (or bowls) and then top it off with some eggplant sauce in the center.  Feel free to sprinkle chopped oregano on top.

Enjoy it with the rest of the bottle of wine!

Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce

I know there hasn’t been a post on this blog in a week!  We have been cooking, but we’ve been having problems with the photography.  Our little space is fairly dark, especially now that summer is coming to an end, so until we have some new camera equipment (on the way!), it’s difficult to show off the appetizing food.  Until then, try out one of Sam’s newest recipes. 

I have to say that I’m super proud of this one.  I thought it up all on my own and it turned out great on the first try!  The subtle sweet flavor of the clams with the rich white wine sauce over pasta is absolutely delicious.  For those of you who might be a little timid about cooking seafood, this is definitely a good one to try; it’s really easy!

Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce

5 lbs, littleneck clams (should be about 50 clams)
¼ lbs pork belly, cubed (you can substitute with bacon, just not the maple kind)
½ bulb of fennel, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lbs dried linguine
1 bottle of dry white wine, room temperature (chardonnay would work great)
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (please don’t use that powdered stuff)
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper

First, rinse the clams in a colander under cool water.  Check to make sure that they are all firmly closed in their shells.  If you find any that are open or have cracked shells, throw them away.  Once they’re clean, set aside.

In a deep saucepan melt 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Then add the pork fat and cook until it begins to render a bit.  Now is a good time to start your boiling your pasta.  Next add the fennel and sauté until it becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, you do not want it to burn.

Now add the clams, white wine, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and a pinch or crushed red pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until all of the clams have opened their shells.  When the clams are done, remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the strained, cooked pasta in a large pot and cover to keep warm.

Uncover the white wine mixture and cook on high heat until it reduces by half.  Add ½ cup heavy cream and continue to cook until the mixture again reduces by about half.  Add the flour and whisk briskly for 1 minute.  Pour the mixture and the grated Parmesan over the pasta and clams and mix together thoroughly.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a sliced baguette.  Enjoy!

Fish and Vegetable Stew

We had this for dinner a couple of weeks ago, but it seems fitting to post it today.  In DC it’s gloomy and rainy this afternoon/evening, so some comfort food would be perfect.  Oftentimes during the summer I feel bad staying indoors when it’s so gorgeous out (yes, even when the humidity and temperature are high).  So today would be a perfect day to sit home, relax, watch a movie and eat some stew.

I think both of us were a little surprised how well this came out.  I’ve never made a soup out of fish, so this was a first.  But it’s nice and light- so even when it’s super hot out- it doesn’t feel like a heavy dinner.  And, in case you’re making this during the fall or winter months, you can eat some bread with this to make it a bit more filling.

Fish Stew
Inspired by: Easy Everyday: Simple Recipes

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small or 1/2 of a large fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomato juice
2 tbsp grated orange peel
juice of 1 orange
1 cup of water
about 1 lb of cod (or other white fish)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a pan.  Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, red bell pepper, thyme and fennel for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.  Then add the wine, heat it until it boils, and then simmer it uncovered until the liquid has reduced.

Then, add the tomato juice, orange peel, orange juice and 1 cup of water.  Turn up the heat once again, let it cook for about 10 minutes.  Lastly, add the fish and cook for another 5-10 minutes on low to medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Finally, ladle the stew into soup bowls, and sprinkle with parsley.