Monday, October 1, 2012

Polenta with Eggplant, Onion and Tomatoes

This is our first Meatless Monday dinner in our new home which is why there has not been a post in a while.  We moved from our home of 17 years into a 40 foot R.V. (recreational vehicle).  As soon as we get a chance I will post a picture of our home on wheels.  When we decided to make this move, we knew we had to sell and/or donate a lot of our belongings.  It was quite interesting to sell all of our bedroom sets (4 bedrooms) with all the dressers and desks and various other pieces of furniture and sold many of our possessions in a huge garage sale.  We did keep our dining room furniture (along with both sets of china and crystal) and several other items so that if we ever decided to set up a house again, we would have something to start with.  We have a lot of things that I couldn't part with in storage and only the things we think are necessary in our R.V.

It is amazing when you go from a 3,400 square foot house to approximately 400 feet in a motor home what becomes essential.  We are at an R.V. park about 10 minutes away from our storage unit and we have been lugging boxes back and forth between storage and RV.  Quite a few items have not made the cut and have simply gone back into storage.  We are planning on staying put for about another week to see if we really have everything we think we need.  We love our new hot spot for internet connection which will allow me to continue with my blog posts.

This is the second night I have cooked dinner in the RV and I have been quite pleased with the set up.  I have a 3 burner gas cook top (I'm really glad it's gas) and a combination convection/microwave unit.  I do not have a conventional oven, which I'm not thrilled about.  I will give the combo unit a chance for at least 3 months before I decide if it will be enough for me.  The problem with installing an oven is the loss of 2 pretty big drawers of storage space. 

All right, enough about the personal space and on to the food. 

Polenta with Eggplant, Onion and Tomatoes
Makes 4 Servings

10 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant, (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
6 tablespoons Parmesan, grated

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oion starts to brown, about 5 minutes.  Remove.  Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat.  Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add the onion mixture, fresh and canned tomatoes, parsley and  teaspoon of the salt.  Simmer until thick, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the pepper.

Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, bring the water and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt to a boil.  Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking constantly.  Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is thick, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the Parmesan.  Serve the hot polenta topped with the vegetables.  Garnish with extra Parmesan, if desired.

From Food and Wine Italian Cookbook

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