Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gourmet on a Budget: Polenta with Eggs & Asperagus




This is a really rich & delicious recipe that I cooked up for Ben & I last night. We are always trying to find new ways to keep our grocery bill down, so I have been experimenting with some egg dishes recently, as an inexpensive source of protein. Plus, our friends from church have a chicken coop and are always giving us fresh eggs! The main ingredients in this recipe are: cornmeal, eggs & milk---you can substitute most anything else in the recipe with ingredients that you have on hand to make it a very frugal, yet tasty dish. For those of you who are new to polenta, it is a creamy, grits-like food made from cornmeal--Its good for you, and obviously a very inexpensive dish to make!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup roasted cherry/grape tomatoes*
2 1/4 cups milk, 1% worked well for me
1 cup water
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 cup yellow cornmeal (polenta)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 TBSP. olive oil
1/2 bunch of asparagus, diced (its in season during spring & summer, so its much cheaper in the stores right now!)
1 small jalapeno, seeded & diced
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small lemon, wedged
8 eggs
**homemade salsa on side

* roast tomatoes in oven at 350 for about 40 minutes, start this before you start the rest of the meal

1. In a large saucepan combine milk, water, salt & parsley; bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in cornmeal (whisk it real good!) and reduce heat to med-low. cook, stirring frequently for 12 to 15 min or until nice and thick. Reduce heat to low, and cover to keep warm.

2. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus, jalapeno, bell pepper & roasted tomatoes. Cook 3-5 min or until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat & wrap the veggies in foil to keep warm.

3. In the same skillet that was used for the veggies, heat olive oil over med to med-high heat. Add eggs one at a time to skillet, frying until they are to your desired "doneness". Sprinkle with pepper & garlic powder.

4. To serve, laddle polenta onto plates, top with vegetable mixture and 2 eggs. Garnish with parmesan cheese, salsa & a wedge of lemon.

Enjoy!

6 comments:

Holly Southerland said...

looks yummy! also I like your new blog look! very Spring-y

Rachel said...

Looks wonderful! Not many people know this about me, but about the only way I will eat tomatoes (and enjoy them), aside from ketchup, is roasted or cooked in a skillet with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Those tomatoes on the polenta look so sweet!

We'll have to try it out in April!

The Carters said...

haha thats really funny rachel, ben is EXACTLY the same way. try as i may to put fresh tomatoes in other dishes he won't eat them unless they are roasted! hope you & your beautiful family enjoy the polenta :)

Kyndall said...

I like your plates ;)

Amanda and Andrew LeJeune said...

Hey Ashely, this makes 4 servings right? If it's just Andrew and I, should I cut the recipe in half? Or just don't make as many eggs? I don't want to have a ton of polenta left over. Doesn't seem like it's very good leftover, or is it?

The Carters said...

Amanda, when I made it, I made the full amount of polenta, but only fried 2-3 eggs for us to have that night. The next day we re-heated the left over polenta & then fried two more eggs! But if you don't want leftovers at all, I would just half it :)