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Creamy Polenta (can also be used for hard)
A versatile dish, can be served grits-style with mascarpone and brown sugar for breakfast, or with creamy gorgonzola and parmesan for an afternoon snack, as well as a soft base for any meat or sauce, or poured into a lightly oiled pan and chilled for a few hours to then be used as hard polenta reheated either on the grill or in a hot oven.

I've got bleary-eyed yet fond memories of making this at the still-revered Cafe Escalera, where if you worked the lunch shift and arrived at 7 am, this was the first thing you had to get on the stove even before making yourself coffee, so that it had time to fully homogenize by the time the doors opened pre-lunch and the late breakfast bar menu polenta & mascarpone orders were coming in at 10.

6 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 cups polenta (a.k.a corn grits - a coarse ground degerminated corn)
3 Tbsp
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

black pepper

Boil water and salt in a large, deep pan. Whisk in polenta and continue stirring until polenta remains suspended in the water. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring with whisk every couple of minutes, scraping bottom of pan and preventing sticking. Whisk in butter, vinegar and fresh ground black pepper. Taste for salt. Check that consistency is thick but not lumpy. If too dry or lumpy, add water and whisk to thin.

At this point, polenta can be served immediately, can be held in bain marie or over a flame tamer for several hours, occassionally adding water and whisking to clear any lumps, or can be poured into an oiled pan and chilled for hard polenta usage.

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Dinner Menus by Samsunshine Levy


Fantastic NET Caesar Salad
Orange-Ginger Shrimp Ceviche
Salt Cod Brandade (Baccala/Bacalao)

Main Dishes
Chipotle Pork Posole Stew
Dover Sole (or Tilapia) "Meuniere"
Tenderloin Filet Au Poivre
Easy Summer Grilled Pizza
Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino con Gamberoni, Zest and Body!

Soup & Sides
Famous NET MAN Steamed Broccoli
Perfect & Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup
Bacon Mustard Brussel Sprouts
Creamy Polenta
Crunchy Vegetarian Quinoa Tabouli

Dark and Stormy cocktail
Homemade Santa Fe Hot Cocoa Mix now with the power of chipotle
Dark Rum Egg Nog

Apple Scone Cobbler
Nina's Birthday Cardamom Peach Cobbler
Italian Semifreddo Cassata
Rich & Dark Pecan Pie
Easy No-Bake Chocolate Pots de Creme
Moistest German Chocolate Cake
Christmas Morning Bacon Doughnuts
Paste di Meliga (Italian Cornmeal Cookies)
Even More Foolproof Vodka Pie Crust
Ginger Pecan Pie