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Archive for December 8th, 2010

I got home from work last night inspired by chard. Again. Though this time, a little less frenzied.

Like last time, I balanced my Diet Coke with a glass of Cabernet. I was craving something creamy and earthy and rich. I replaced the pasta and feta with polenta and provolone, added mushrooms to the chard, and doused the mix with some wine from my glass (and then refilled my glass). I called the vegetable mix a ragoût. Because I like how that sounds. Ragoooo. And because it’s French. It comes from the verb ragoûter – to restore the appetite, to stimulate, to stir up; goûter means to taste. I didn’t need my appetite restored, but I did need my appetite fed, and this did the trick.

Sitting on my kitchen counter is a little wooden sign that says

I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food. (W.C. Fields)

This statement is true. Very true. But I’d like my to add wine to the food more than sometimes.

Mushroom Chard Ragoût over Creamy Polenta

Make these two dishes at the same time. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Scoop a nice mound of polenta in the center of a wide bowl and spoon the ragoût around the

Creamy Polenta

- 1C medium or coarse grind corn meal

- 4.5 C water

- salt

- 2 T butter

- 1/2 C provolone cheese, shredded

Add polenta and salt to cold water in a small pots. Whisk a few times and bring to boiling. Turn the heat to low and whisk every minute for the first 5 minutes. Continue to whisk every few minutes until all the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes for a total cooking time of 20-15 minutes. Add butter and shredded cheese and salt to taste.

Mushroom Chard Ragoût

- 1 T butter, 1 T olive oil

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 3/4 lb mushrooms, sliced

- 1 big bunch of red chard

- 1/2 C red wine (I used a rich Cabernet)

Heat butter and oil in a wide skillet large enough to fit all the chard. Sauté onion and garlic until transparent. Add sliced chard ribs, cover, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir for another ~8 minutes until mushrooms darken, release their fluid and then reabsorb it. Add chard leaves and cover for another 5 minutes to wilt. Add wine and heat until liquid reduces, another 5 mintues or so. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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