I made a great polenta dish today from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten. I love all of Ina Garten’s cookbooks because the recipes really work. This is an older book – from 2002 – but I go back to it again and again. The rosemary polenta on page 130 is killer, even if you substitute whole milk for the half and half and use commercially-prepared chicken stock. I have some leftovers which I plan on serving under chicken in pan gravy tomorrow. Of all the cooked-formed-chilled-cut-fried polenta dishes in my world, this is by far the best; that little bit of rosemary she calls for really makes the dish. Oh, did I mention that I served the polenta tonight with NY strip steaks? I nabbed a whole USDA Choice striploin the other day for $5.99/lb. This is by far the best way to go if you need to feed a group or if you don’t mind freezing what you don’t use right away. A good striploin does not need much trimming and, indeed, you’ll want to leave that layer of fat on there to lubricate the meat as it cooks. Simply cut steaks evenly with a sharp knife. Once you’ve done this a time or two you’ll be a pro – just don’t fear those larger cuts of meat since they often represent a terrific bargain. When my mother goes into my fridge to see what’s going on in there and she catches a glimpse of a massive vacuum packed slab of beef, she knows she’ll be firing up the Weber for steaks that weekend.
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