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{October 6, 2008}   Pitty Pat’s B-day Polenta

The baby’s finger food b-day dinner (from last month’s catch up, obviously)…

Pitty Pat’s B-day Polenta
1 lb ground pork + lots of seasonings (if you aren’t concerned about the salt/sodium you can just use a ready made sausage–but I you know babies/salt)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 c finely snipped or diced dried tomatoes (dried but a bit moist, like raisins, and preferably not in oil)
1 roasted bell pepper, skinned, seeded, and diced (I did green but if you aren’t making your own, the red ones are fine)
2 c cornmeal
about 2 T sea salt (might be a little shy of this really, as I don’t officially measure, but the point is it’s kind of a lot… if you undersalt it before you cook it you won’t be able to redo it and hence will never have the chance to bring out the flavor of the cornmeal again… but if you’re a learn-the-hard-way type try boiling cornmeal in unsalted water just for kicks, and when you’re ready to eat you’ll know what you should do next time…)
2 qts – 9 c water (I reckon you could use some broth if you want, and if you use canned or salted broth you can obviously cut back on the salt a bit… but frankly salt water is cheaper, and you’ll have plenty of stuff in this so flavor won’t be a problem…)
1-2 jars of italian marinated mushrooms, drained (or undrained the liquid can replace some of the water if you’d like, but add the liquid at the same time as the water)

Mix up the pork and seasonings and test a pinch of your sausage (ie. cook it up a taste it)… if it’s ok, finish cooking the rest with onion (otherwise tinker and test another pinch, etc…) once all the sausage is well browned and the onions translucent… add your liquid and let it start to come to a boil… meanwhile, chopped and add the tomatoes and peppers… when the liquid is boiling, reduce to medium low and mix it the polenta S L O W L Y and let simmer stirring as often as you can until it thickens up and pulls from the sides, around 20-30 mins… Then add your drained mushrooms, butter and parm and turn out onto a pan or into a casserole dish and let cool a bit to set up and then slice and serve (or slice and fry/bake/grill and serve)…

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