Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Local As I Wanna Be

Polenta 2 Ways, 3 Ways

One of my favorite eat local finds has been the water driven Bonneyville Mill in Elkhart County, Indiana. We are still working our way through bags of stone-ground corn meal. And of course to foodies like you and me, stone ground corn meal has a sexier name, polenta. We were saying at dinner the other night, that's a bit odd, with all the corn around these parts, that polenta, however you wanna call it, is not more a part of the local cuisine. For now.

Monday, my wife made some of our local cornmeal into polenta. The key to good polenta, we have learned, is to follow Alice Waters directions. Cook the stuff a long time, an hour. The corn gets so fluffy you could sleep on it. Monday the polenta made a nice bed for the leftover beef carbonade my wife had made over the weekend (chuck roast from our cow, local onions, Leine's Big Butt Doppelbock). The rest of the polenta went on a sheet pan for the next day.

Next day, my wife cut well shaped triangles of polenta. She offered the polenta with three toppings: leftover Wisconsin cultivated mushrooms (sauteed); Farmer Vicki's kale (boiled, dressed with olive oil and a splash of Dane County chili vinegar), and the horribly non-local but awfully delicious burrata we picked up the other day at Freddy's in Cicero.

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