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Umami Bomb

This is my first “formal” post about cooking—something that I am passionate and opinionated about so get ready.  

Those of you that know me are aware that I cook pretty much every day—breakfast and dinner.  I did that when I was working at an office and now that I’m working from home I still do it though I can be much looser about things now that I can shop more.

Generally I still plan it all on Sunday and the menu is locked and loaded for the week. (this is the only type of planning that I’m religious about)  I get inspired to cook from a variety of places and I will post about that separately.  

One of the blogs I follow and look forward to getting in my inbox is Gotham Gal, by Joanne Wilson whom I don’t know but whose sensibility towards food, family, art and career speaks to me.  Earlier this week she posted about a recipe that included real polenta and  I decided to fool with it a bit.  I’ve been on a kick recently like the rest of the free world  to eat less meat and chicken and fish and more vegetables.  For the planet and for ourselves. This has been met with some real successes and some failures and lots of trial and error and the randomness of it is really nutty. While the kids were at camp I experimented lots so that when they are back and we are all in full motion I’ll have some standbys to rely on.  This recipe will be one of them. 

So this recipe has a base of “real polenta”. which is made using fresh corn. I took Joanne’s recipe and mixed in a combination of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Greek yoghurt, salt and pepper and a small dose of  Spanish sweet paprika.  Separately I took a bunch of dried Shitake mushrooms, soaked them, roughly sliced them, and sauteed them in olive oil with a large sliced leek.  I then took the “polenta” topped it with the mushrooms and leeks and finished it with a fried egg sprinkled with some Aleppo pepper.  It was an Umami Bomb of the first order and extremely easy to make.  Served along side a nice Vinho Verde it is the perfect summer meal. Of course it would also be nice as a bed for perfectly roasted chicken or braised oxtails and that’s how my kids will likely eat it.

NOTE on the corn:  The awesome floor manager at Fairway told me how to cook corn in the husks in the microwave for speed and easy peeling.  I did 4 ears in 8  minutes on high. 

Joanne, thanks for the always inspiring take on food and this one will likely make its way into our weeknight meatless dinners! 

I’m going to start posting a bit about cooking. I refuse to say that I will begin posting recipes because it is not how I cook. Recipes are for reference and inspiration and my hope is by reading my take on cooking it will inspire you to just cook with an idea or something great you see in the market —more via intuition than instruction. 

PLEASE NOTE: The picture quality is terrible. Me and my management team are hard at work to improve the quality of the photos.