Monday, March 10, 2014
Polenta with Butternut Squash, Sausage and Caramelized Onions
When it comes to grains and flours, I usually keep a fairly well stocked pantry. So, barley, bulgar wheat, farro and quinoa are usually on hand right next to the white flour, whole wheat flour and cornmeal. But when I'm planning my dinners, I sometimes forget to shop in my own pantry. The cornmeal, for example, has been sitting there lonely and unused except for the occasional urge for cornbread. When I'm in a restaurant, a dish of polenta always sounds so appealing so there was really no excuse for the canister of cornmeal not to be shown a little more respect
1 Cup cornmeal
4 1/2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Links of your favorite sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 Onion, peeled and sliced
2 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 lb. Butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Add one tablespoon of the olive oil to a large skillet or cast iron pan and, on medium high heat, cook the sausage for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Remove the sausage from the pan, add the remaining olive oil along with the onions. Cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic, squash and thyme to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the squash is also lightly caramelized. Slice the sausage and return it to the pan to warm up. Season to taste.
While the onions are cooking, add the cornmeal and water to a pot and cook on medium low heat, whisking frequently for about 15 minutes or until its reached the consistency you like. Stir in the butter and season with salt. Spoon the polenta into serving bowls and top with the sausage, onion, squash mixture. Makes approximately 4 servings.