Thursday, March 01, 2007

Recipe for Gina

One night, drunk, I made some late night food for friends. One of them, Gina, wants the recipe. Of course I don't know the recipe any longer, but apparently it was some sort of polenta with white beans. I have some idea of what I would have made, and so I'll attempt to reconstruct the recipe using my knowledge of myself and the things I am likely to cook when I'm drunk and it's late.

White Bean Polenta

1 can white beans drained and rinsed gently.
a pinch to a tablespoon of Chili flakes
1 small or half a big Red onion (yellow will do fine) chopped.
Olive oil
White wine (or water, or stock)
Polenta (not instant, and you could use plain corn meal. It's all the same shit. Just find the grind that you like and go with it. Keep in mind that the very fine polenta tends to "explode" meaning that you do not want to use too much or you will end up with a blob that will eat your pets and children.)
Parmesan cheese (if you have that "parmesan" in the green can, just do without and then go to confession.)
Butter (optional) (Butter is optional like love is optional. Of course, you might be lactose intolerant like Gina, but Gina, really, I don't think there is any lactose in butter. It's 99% fat. I could be wrong. Sorry. There is this stuff called Smart Balance that is as good as butter substitutes get and is about as healthy for you as any fat can be with omega 3's and shit like that.)
Salt and pepper freshly ground pepper please.

In a large enough pot, preferably one with a wide bottom, add about two tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). I'd probably put more, but then I'm fat.

Put the heat on medium-high and add the chili flakes.

When the flakes begin to dance around add the Garlic.

Stir around for about twenty seconds and then add the onions.

Saute these until the onions are half-glassy. Please don't worry too hard over whether the onions are cooked right or not. I mean, please, the fuckers are good raw.

Now add the beans. If the pan is too dry, add a little water, but not too much because you want the beans to leave some tasty brown stuff on the bottom of the pan. All this would of course be better if you'd cooked the beans yourself, but we're talking about drunk late night food here. The beans are already done, so you really just need to heat them through, but let them get a little color in the pan, and then--

add about a cup of wine (or water or stock). Stir around, picking up all the tasty bits on the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now, I'm not entirely sure of the proportions here for this particular amount of beans, but I'm guessing you'll need about 1/2 a cup of dry polenta. I don't know because I typically just put in some and then add water as needed. The rule is 3:1 polenta to water, so with half a cup polenta you'll need 1 1/2 cups water. Don't count the water you used to deglase the pan. So put in your water and let it come to a good boil. Then, with a fork or whisk handy, start adding the polenta fairly slowly, stirring vigorously. Once all the polenta is in the pan, you'll need to keep stirring until it is all uniformily incorporated. Reduce the heat and let the bubbly mess cook, stirring infrequently, until the polenta is done, 10 to 20 to 30 minutes depending on the grind of the corn. The more slowly it cooks the more corny taste you'll have. But we're talking about late night drunk food here, so what you'll do is fill your measuring cup with water, crank up the heat and stir constantly for about 10 minutes, adding water as needed until the shit is done.

Serve topped with freshly ground pepper, Parmesan cheese, a bit of sea salt would be nice, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

Options: Anything green that you have (Not lettuce I don't think) you could chop into fine strips and add late in the process. Kale, mustard greens, etc...

Oh, top with parsley and put some in with the beans. See, I will have thought of this after the plates are in front of the guests so I'll likely be running around screaming, "Wait, wait, wait, wait! Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Wait, wait, wait." Meanwhile chopping parsely and chasing people down to dash some on their food.

Voila! Gina, does this sound like what we had that night?

PS Oh yeah, the butter. Fuck it.