Seth and Eunice recently sent me some really nice polenta after Eunice posted some particularly nice looking cornbread on flickr and I said “nom nom.” It inspired this meal last night. We’ve been buying some beautiful duck from the farmer’s market recently. Really hard to beat. There is SO much amazing fat on the breasts, that if you render it out you can use it for all sorts of things.. In this case, for frying up the parsnips! wow.
I cooked up the polenta with some chicken stock, then poured it out onto the counter, and spread it nice and thin. Once it cooled, I cut it into fingers, lightly coated it with oil, and put it in a hot oven (450 or so) until the fingers were nicely browned. So good. This polenta they sent was just amazing. Dried corn that still tastes like CORN!
But here’s the thing I want to talk about: Escarole. When I eat escarole, I’m with the one I love.
For a while now I’ve been wandering around in the produce section just knowing that there’s some vegetable that’s been missing. It’s escarole! It’s not that I hadn’t had the stuff before.. but I have recently fallen in love. We have it about every other night lately, and I’ve come up with a great simple way to make it.
Thinly slice some garlic and slowly brown it in plenty of olive oil. Empty out the pan through a strainer into a bowl or something and set aside the garlic. Now you’ve got beautiful garlic oil AND nice garlic chips to garnish.
Get a flashy pan nice and hot, add the garlic oil, and just before it starts smoking like mad, throw in the escarole (washed and chopped with the wash water still clinging to it..). Keep the escarole moving until the pan cools down a little, then cover it for 30 seconds or so to steam. Check on it. Don’t over cook it. Salt and pepper.. don’t fuck it up. Turn the pan out into a bowl and top with the garlic chips. Too many beautiful. (oh oh!! and lately it’s been $0.49 per lb at our local super market!!).