A few months ago, my father-in-law & his soon to-be-bride visited us for an extended weekend. They live in Florida, so we unfortunately don’t get to see them all too often. They are definitely classified as “foodies” so it was a pleasure having them in town, showing them some of our favorite restaurants & of course cooking several fancy dishes to share. They also share a love of cooking together, as do John & I, so there was plenty of help in the kitchen while they were here!
One of the meals that Karen made for us was a version of this polenta dish. Prior to this feast, I had never had polenta before! I guess I’ve just lived far too north my entire life. I was surprised to find it delightful thick, creamy & very warming. It reminded me a bit of a childhood favorite hot cereal, but with so much more flavor & it was the perfect meal to try to recreate for my 2nd recipe using my brand new food mill.
Sausage, Pepper, & Egg Polenta
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into long strips
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- Fried egg(s) to top
Grind up your popcorn in your mill by first turning it on & then dumping the popcorn into the machine. Then make the polenta by heating the 2 cups of water with the 2 cups of milk until it comes to a boil. Add the salt & then gently whisk in the cornmeal in a steady stream. Continue whisking the cornmeal until it becomes thicker. Cover & let it simmer on low for about 30 more minutes, stirring vigorously every 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, in the tbsp of olive oil, brown the sausage. Once the sausage is nearly browned, add the minced garlic & onion. Once the sausage is browned & the onions are translucent, add the sliced bell pepper & the spaghetti sauce & mix well.
In a small skillet, cook your eggs to your desired liking (we usually do over easy).
Once the polenta is done, scoop out onto deep plates or bowls & top with the sausage mixture & then finish with an egg & a sprinkle of cheese. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Karen Chandler (my step mother-in-law)