Ok so it’s been a while. And while my finals aren’t quite over yet, sometimes you just need to take a break. Some people relax by watching TV or reading or naps (and I’ll be honest, I do all those too), but my favorite way to relax is by cooking. Because you are on your feet when you cook, it seems counterproductive but there is no better feeling (to me) than creating a dish and sitting down to enjoy it for awhile before getting back to work.
I made this for lunch today and it was so so good. Polenta/Asparagus/eggs is a classic combination of flavors that I had never tried before but had always drooled over in food porn pictures, and I was excited to try it. It was super easy and you could add as many variations on this as you wanted. I know I already made polenta here but this method is slightly different, and I actually liked it better. I’ll make this quick so I can get back to studying (Hi, Dad) but enjoy!
Cheddar Pancetta Polenta with Asparagus and a Poached Egg
- For Polenta:
- 1/2 cup coarse ground cornmeal
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup pancetta, diced
- For poached egg and asparagus:
- 2 fresh eggs
- a dash of white vinegar
- 8 thin asparagus stalks, trimmed (I won’t lie to you, I used frozen Trader Joe’s asparagus here)
- salt and pepper, taste
Start by making your polenta. In a medium pot put the cornmeal, milk, and chicken stock together. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered while stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. If the mixture is too thin, add some more chicken broth. Don’t be scared. I like my polenta creamy, so I added a lot of broth.
While your polenta cooks, brown the pancetta in a separate pan. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Slice your cheese thinly (you are going to melt this into the polenta).
When the polenta is at your desired consistency, stir in the cheddar and the pancetta until it is melted and incorporated. Simmer for just a minute so all the flavors get all happy together.
Remove from heat and cover while you prepare the rest of the components.
To poach your eggs, boil some water in a pan. You’ll need about 5 inches of water so choose your pan accordingly. When the water is boiling, bring the pan to a simmer. Add a dash of vinegar to the water (this helps the egg keep its form). Crack the egg into a teacup, and gently lower the teacup into the water, sliding the egg out into the water. Be careful so the egg doesn’t break!
The egg should cook for about three to five minutes depending on how hard you like it. While the egg cooks prepare your asparagus in which ever way that you like. I had frozen asparagus, so I microwaved it. Bad cook, I know, but I was working on a time constraint. When the egg is ready, remove it with a slotted spoon.
Plate your food! First dish the polenta, then top it with asparagus, salt and pepper, and finally the poached egg!
Cut into the egg and watch the yolk run over the polenta and asparagus.