Excerpts of Erynn

a blog about… nothing in particular and everything at once

Orange Polentina (a.k.a. fast-ish yummy comforting breakfast) February 27, 2010

Filed under: recipes,tips — Erynn Sprouse @ 12:23 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We had one of my favorites for breakfast this morning… Orange Polentina. We’ve made it about half a dozen times already and I just can’t get enough. It’s a recipe from Eating Well magazine February 2010 issue. Oooeee! I love that magazine. Some of my favorite things about it:

  • It has a great index of all the recipes in the front broken down into various categories (breakfast, poultry, vegetarian…), they’re marked with indicators for healthy weight, high fiber, healthy heart, budget (love that!), and ready to eat in 45 minutes or less. Each recipe is also marked in the index for calories, fat/ saturated fat, carbs, fiber & sodium.
  • When you turn to the actual recipe, each has the amount and size of each serving, how much time it will take to make (active time & total time) and tips for how to make the whole thing or portions of it ahead of time.
  • The recipes are healthy, unique, fresh tasting, seasonally appropriate and every one we’ve tried is really delicious.
  • There’s a surprisingly high percentage of recipes that are gluten-free (GF) or easily altered to be GF.
  • The articles are interesting, helpful & largely focused on eating naturally (I’ve heard it called “clean eating” lately).
  • Really nice website… including a menu planner. I haven’t messed with that much, but I’m planning to. Looks great!

I’m not actually sure how we started receiving this magazine… I think maybe my MIL got the subscription for us. Dunno. Really love it, though, and if I ever stop receiving it, I’ll likely sign up again. Anyway… about THIS recipe…

Orange Polentina Recipe

(lifted from the Eating Well website)

Orange Polentina

  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups low fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup instant polenta or fine cornmeal (we just use plain cornmeal*)
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone (Italian cream cheese… we just use plain)
  • 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (again… we just use plain)
  • 4 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon (optional… we’ve never bothered)

1. Zest the orange to get 1 1/2 tsp, set aside. remove the rest of the peel and white pith with a sharp knife. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes (the “working over a bowl” part is key… had a big orange juice mess to clean up this morning when I thought I was too cool for a bowl). Set aside for garnish(or defend yourself by giving them to children underfoot).

2. Combine water, milk & salt in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil (as with all things milk + stove, watch carefully… another mess I had to clean up this morning). Gradually whisk in polenta (or cornmeal) and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain an even bubble and whisk until polentina thickens, 1-5 minutes (depending on what type you’re using). Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine marscapone, yogurt, 1 tbs honey and 1/2 tsp orange zest in a small bowl (I get out my electric whipper attachment dealy for my beloved stick blender, especially for regular cream cheese).

4. Whisk the remaining 3 tbs honey and remaining 1 tsp zest into the polentina. Divide among 4 bowls and top with a dollop of the mascarpone topping. Garnish with the reserved orange segments (if there are any left… I usually cut up more than one orange: 1 for fending off children, 1 for on top of polentina) and sprinkle with tarragon, if desired. Serve immediately.

*Confession: one of the reasons I’ve been all excited about this recipe is that I thought cornmeal was a whole grain. Turns out that’s not true unless you specifically get whole grain cornmeal! I’m a bit bummed about that, but I’ll be looking for it next time I go to Whole Foods. I’m thinking it’ll likely take a bit longer to cook once I do that, but that’s okay. It’s worth it to get the grains in and keep things *ahem* moving along.

One of our friends (who has kids our age) talks about having cornmeal mush for breakfast growing up on a shoe string budget. That’s pretty much what this is, just fancied up. Anyway, this has become one of my very favorite breakfast recipes. It’s fast (okay, not as fast as cold cereal with milk dumped on, but infintely yummier), warm and comforting yet sunny. I love that it includes honey as the sweetener. We hear buzz (haha… buzz… honey… easily amused, yes I know) that eating local honey helps with allergies. Plus, I love to support local farmers whenever I can… need to make that more of a priority. If you don’t have an orange around, just omit the zest & orange slices. It’s still really delicious. Commenters on the Eating Well site for this recipe said it reheats fine. It doesn’t last that long around here, so I wouldn’t know.

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