Sunday, 19 September 2010
It's been a little while since my last mention of the Cookbook of the Month for September - Plenty by Yotam Ottelenghi. So without further delay, here is another great recipe from this wonderful book!
What initially attracted me to this recipe was the way the polenta is made - not from the dry grain, but rather, from fresh corn! The result is a much sweeter, softer and less uniform polenta. Because of the sweetness of the polenta, you really do need to add the feta cheese to balance it out. That combined with the aubergine sauce and voila, a delicious heart-warming supper :)
My polenta was a little on the runny side for two reasons - First, I neglected to properly measure the amount of water I cooked the corn in. Secondly, I was getting hungry and impatient!
6 corn cobs
200g feta, crumbled*
1/4 tsp salt
* I used danish feta as it is lovely and creamy.
For the aubergine sauce
150ml vegetable oil
1 medium aubergine, in 2cm dice
2 tsp tomato paste
60ml white wine
200g chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped oregano, plus whole leaves to garnish
First make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the aubergine on medium heat for 15 minutes, until nicely browned. Drain and discard as much oil as you can. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for two minutes on medium heat. Add the wine and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano, and cook for five minutes, to get a deep flavoured sauce. Set aside.
To make the polenta, remove the leaves and 'silk' from each corn cob, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Stand each cob upright on its base, and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels. You want to have 550g of kernels.
Place the kernels in a medium-sized saucepan and pour in the water, to cover. Add half the butter and cook on a low simmer for 12 minutes. Lift out the kernels with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a food processor. Process for quite a few minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible. If the mixture is too dry to process, add a little of the cooking water.
Now return the the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to a mashed potato consistency. Now fold in the remaining butter, feta, salt and pepper, and cook for two minutes longer. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Divide the polenta among shallow bowls and spoon some warm sauce in the centre.