A Real Thirty-Minute Meal

Number of schools which have not written back yet, 2; number of professors not taking students, 1; additional possible options yet to look into, 3; number of times this week have considered scrapping psychology entirely, approximately 4 billion.

This week’s been rather busy, and it’s been a week of quick meals and leftovers, mainly. To my credit, I have not once eaten popcorn or chex mix for dinner, though it has come close. In a measure of true desperation the other night I ate an omelet for dinner. This is a noteworthy event because for twenty-three years now I have maintained that I don’t like eggs. This was eroded by tortilla española in Spain, and since then I’ve been slowly breaking ground into soufflés and quiches and other things where if you put so much else into them they don’t taste really like eggs at all and are therefore ok. It came to me as a great shock this past weekend when I actually asked for an omelet for our version of brunch, and packed with leftover steak and onion and tomato and cheese it was fantastic. The other night was egg and hashbrown potatoes and spinach and cheese. I don’t really understand where all this egg-liking came from all of a sudden. It’s like my bizarro food world.
Yesterday was a bit different. Sandwiched in between nights of doctor appointments and sitting at the garage waiting for them to fix and re-fix the car, Wednesday seemed the only possible time before the weekend to get errands and a bit of proper cooking done. I picked up my new glasses, bought some sweaters before I’m allergic to everything that’s out, and had a lovely perusal around the grocery store stocking up. When I got home, I turned to one of the pages I’d bookmarked in Martha Stewart Living 2005 collection, a real find due back at the library all too soon. Though it’s a bit strangely laid out, organized in recipes by month rather than courses, I find that just encourages me to page through often. It’s one of the first cookbooks in a while I actually intend to buy, in part because so many recipes are actually ones I’d use rather than just drool over.
Case in point with the spinach and polenta soup. With total time in about half an hour, I was able to grill some sausages on the side and then curled up with a lovely meal and the rest of Bend It Like Beckham. The soup's filling but not heavy, with a silky texture from the cornmeal and a sweet smell of garlic oil, and forgiving when I put in all the olive oil at the beginning instead of splitting it up throughout. It's a very simple recipe and though not one I've had as a combination in soup before, it came together beautifully. Well done, Martha.

basically from Martha Stewart Living Annual Recipes 2005

1/2 c olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
6 c water
1/2 c fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups baby spinach leaves, torn into pieces
1 tsp sea salt
ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, add the cornmeal in a slow steady stream (works well if you sift it through your fingers). Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the cheese and cook for 1 minute longer.
Stir in the spinach and salt and cook, stirring, until the spinach is bright green and wilted, about 1 minute more. Season to taste with pepper and serve while still quite warm.


Post a Comment

<< Home