Friday, August 03, 2007

Polenta & Phicken with Blackberry-Nectarine Salsa

I have shaved away all of my cooking magazine subscriptions except for one - Eating Well - which I love. It was a gift from my sister-in-law, and I am so glad that she introduced me to it. I notice that sometimes when I am thumbing through a cooking magazine, I gloss over the meat dishes without thinking about it, and that really eliminates so many tasty options. I have to remind myself sometimes to keep an open mind . . . it usually only takes an easy substitution or two to make things work.

This recipe jumped out on the page at me, and Chris, actually. We had both seen the photograph and had this discussion about how it made us both kinda want to eat it with chicken, which rarely happens. But of course, that was an option I didn't want to consider - I had to make this work, and there was a fantastically easy solution that I had almost forgotten about completely. My favorite veggie brand on the plant, Quorn, makes frozen naked cutlets that you can sub into almost any chicken dish. Unlike the Morningstar Farms pre-seasoned strips (yuck), these actually hold together, have a great firm texture, and are not already covered in weird dehydrated flavorings that don't match with the dish you are making.

The original Eating Well recipe can be found here, but I will let you know about my substitutions.
1. As I don't own a grill, I used my faithful broiler for this one (I know, not as fun - but it works).
2. Obviously, I replaced the chicken with Quorn Naked Cutlets (straight from the freezer).
3. I doubled the amount of spice rub mixture - it was tasty, so why not?!
4. As you can see from my photograph (which I am embarrassed to post alongside a link to the pretty pretty EW picture), the nectarines overcooked to a pulp - and quickly. Based on my experience using the broiler for this one, I would place the Quorn, polenta, and nectarines on one pan and place in the broiler at the same time - then remove the nectarines first - after 3 or 4 minutes, not 6 to 8 like the recipe suggests. Then, keep the polenta in the oven until the Quorn is done, so it gets a nice golden crust.

Let me just end this by saying that I was kind of amazed at how easy this was to throw together, in that you only need to use one pan for cooking, and you can make the salsa in the time it takes the Quorn and polenta to finish cooking...so you are really looking at only 15 or 20 minutes. Beyond that, the flavors and fresh and full and hearty (yum!), while the dish is still really light and good for you. You will probably want to bust into the leftovers, so I suggest eating this with a small salad so that you don't ruin your chances of having an equally scrumptious lunch the next day.

1 comment:

emily said...

haha! phicken. looks pretty tasty, actually! :)