Polenta with Onion Relish; Winter Citrus Salad with Avocado & Toasted Almonds
Polenta is such a versatile dish. It can be served soft, shaped, and with so many different variations of flavors. But I love serving it as a little hor d'oeuvre because it's pleasing to the eyes and the palate. For this week's class I made polenta cakes flavored with lemon-thyme and butter and adapted the Barefoot Contessa recipe using milk and chicken stock as the liquids. I dredged the cakes in arborio rice coating and fried it in a combination of olive oil and butter. Instead of serving the polenta with the commonly paired tomato sauce I went for something a bit more elegant and unique, truffled onion relish with finishing touches of parmigiano and lemon-thyme leaves. It was pretty yummy. I even got a "this is the best polenta."
To go with the polenta I wanted to serve a salad of watercress, persimmon and toasted almonds. Persimmon was nowhere to be found and neither was watercress! Ugh. So I got some peaches which I ended up rejecting. On the fruit prowl again... The next day I grabbed a few different types to think it over until it was time to get on the ball... pink grapefruit, valencia oranges, and red d'anjou pears. So after this whirlwind of shopping and being stumped a few times I decided on Winter Citrus Salad with Arugula, Avocado & Toasted Almonds. The segmenting bit of this job is time consuming and a bit acidic but definitely worth it for presentation and texture purposes. It turned out beautiful and refreshing, with a simple dressing of the collected citrus juices, orange blossom honey, white wine vinegar, and good olive oil.
For dessert Marilyn made these adorable yummy mini-cheesecakes. I know I decided not to eat any of the desserts anymore but I completely forgot. I promise!
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