I once dated a guy who said he didn't eat vegetables. Being vegetarian it was a little hard for me to think of something to make him for a dinner date. I went with one of the heartiest dishes I could think of and he loved it! The combination of spice, cheese, veggies and carbs are perfect for chilly date nights :P Note: The polenta does need a few hours to cool so you can do this a few hours to a day before making the stew. —amreen
grated cheese of your choice (I like parmesan or gruyere)
In a large sauce pan bring a pot of water to boil.
Add the polenta, milk and butter. Turn the heat to low and continually stir for 5 minutes.
Add the cheese and salt and continue to stir for another minute or so. At this point the polenta should be thick enough to resemble a slow lava ... if you scrape the bottom of the pan you should be able to see it before the polenta covers it up again.
Remove from the heat and place the polenta in a round cake pan (you can use two pans for thinner wedges). Let it cool in the fridge for a few hours.
Once the polenta has cooled it should be solid, carefully turn it upside down onto a plate and cut it into 8 wedges.
Heat some oil in a skillet. Beat the eggs.
Gently dip a wedge of polenta in the egg and then coat it completely with the bread crumbs. Fry the polenta in the oil until crispy brown on each side. Repeat this with all the wedges.
Spicy Eggplant Stew
Dice the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Place them in a colander and salt them in order to get the bitterness out.
Dice the onion, mince the garlic, cut the zuchini in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch pieces, cut the red bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces. Dice the tomato.
On medium high heat a large sauce pan and coat the bottom with olive oil.
Saute the onions for a few minutes until translucent, add the garlic and saute for another minute or two.
Add the eggplant and mix well. Let the eggplant cook with the onions for a few minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, wine and spices and let simmer for a few minutes.
Add the red bell pepper and zucchini. Cover and let simmer until the zucchini is a tenderness that you like (I prefer mine still firm so 10 minutes works for me)
Plate the dish by placing two polenta wedges on top of each other. Top with the eggplant stew. I love to add some extra parmesan on the top ... I mean you can't go wrong with more cheese :P
I am one of the rare northern Cali girls who hearts LA. My family hails from India via Kenya and being a good little south asian i spent many of my young years in the kitchen. Surrounded by good food from birth (thanks mom!) i have always loved cooking, eating and learning about food. In recent years i have developed an interest in the history of food and its cultural connection particularly in how imperialism and colonization has had an influence on cuisines of the world. This blog is my way of exploring the amazing web of nourishment that sustains us.