I’ve been sitting on this recipe since last Sunday because I didn’t have time to work on the blog this week, but this combination is definitely worth the wait. I’m assuming it’s pretty healthy, and it was really satisfying when I was starving at the end of last weekend. I have no idea why I was so hungry; I tend to try to eat pretty healthy during the week, then I throw caution to the wind on the weekends. By Sunday night, I usually feel fat and guilty and I look forward to switching back to a reasonable diet. So last Sunday, after a typically offensive weekend of fast food and late night snacking, I had these unexplainable hunger pangs. I wanted to be able to eat about 4 pounds of something, but not feel like an obesity statistic. I decided to make something vegetarian (healthy), with some carbs (filling) and a sauce that you’d normally put on meat (satisfying). This is what I came up with when I saw what vegetables were available at the grocery store.
2 large carrots
1/2 pound brussels sprouts
1 cup coarse cornmeal
1 medium shallot
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken or beef stock
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Start your sauce. Finely dice shallots and melt butter over medium heat in small sauce pan. Sautee shallots until softened and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add flour and stir briskly with whisk or fork, cooking a roux for about a minute. When roux starts to darken, add chicken stockin a slow, steady stream. Add wine and bring sauce to a boil. Boil sauce until reduced to about 1/3 of a cup, about 20 minutes.
- While your sauce cooks, slice your carrots into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Halve leeks and rinse them out to remove any dirt, then slice to same thickness as carrots. Halve brussels sprouts. Put all vegetables on a large sheet pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, then toss them around with your hands to get even olive oil distribution. Roast vegetables in oven for 20 minutes or so, until brussels sprouts are tender and some of the leeks are crispy.
- In a medium-sized pot, bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil and slowly pour in cornmeal, whisking constantly. The polenta will thicken quickly; when it does, turn heat to low. You may want to keep a cup of water nearby to add a couple of tablespoons if polenta gets too thick. I’d do the polenta at the end, just before you serve, so that it doesn’t thicken too much before you eat.
Also, this recipe makes a ton of polenta. Save and store the extra polenta so you can make something with pan fried polenta cakes later. Hopefully I will have a recipe for something like that soon. Here’s how I stored my extra polenta.