Sunday, December 2, 2012

Challenge #4 - Imagination... Go!

 I went shopping at the Hampden Co-op, and quickly found the same thing Jenny found, they don't have ground beef! They only have ground venison, bison, or turkey. I chose turkey, because a pound of venison would have greatly constrained my budget. 

Then I went to the bulk. Quinoa didn't appeal, nor did any sort of rice or pasta. But the polenta caught my eye, and it was on sale! I bought a cup (0.36 lbs) for only $0.79. I also saw they had asparagus, which appealed to me more than making a salad or cooking some sort of root vegetable. The asparagus definitely cost the most, which i didn't expect - they were lacking a price tag!

I also got some rosemary, because it was $1, and who doesn't like rosemary???

The moment I got back from the co-op, I thought like I should ferment the polenta - y'all know I like my fermentation. So I mixed about 1/2 tsp of yeast in with the cornstarch, along with about 1 cup water, and set that aside while I went about my day, making nachos and what-have-you.

I got dinner started by mixing the ground turkey with salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, and some mustard, and set that aside.

I got about 1/2 cup water boiling. I was trying to follow Bittman's recipe for pan-fried polenta, but it didn't seem to be working, and I was messing with too many things, and I've never made polenta before, so it was a new experience. I poured in the yeasted cornmeal and boiled it. The water absorbed way too quickly, so I kept adding more until it seemed right. I deemed it done when it was super hard to stir. I molded that on a plate and set it aside.

Asparagus time. I heated up two tablespoons of oil in the skillet, and tossed in the asparagus. I sautéd the spears for about three minutes before tossing on about a tablespoon of balsamic. Then I salted it, kept it moving, and cooked it all for another five minutes or so. I took those off, and shaped the ground turkey into burgers and plopped them right in the skillet. They cooked about 6 minutes per side, and then a little bit longer because I'm like that.

The final step was making the polenta panfried. I did this by pan-frying it! In turkey grease! I put the polenta (cut into eighths) onto the still-hot skillet. I cooked them about 4 minutes per side, trying to get some nice browning/blackening all up on it.

I took them off, served myself, my roommate, AND two other people. Did I mention I spent only $10 for this? As opposed to $15 for convenience store food? And this was more substantial and healthy? What's up with that???

I should note that because I volunteer at the Hampden Park Co-op, I get a 17% discount, so technically this meal cost a whole $2 more per person. Oh wait. That's so little. Whatevers. It was tasty, and the rosemary was very much worth it.

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