Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 2 ~ Create a Meal w/3 Animals

by Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

So today's challenge was to make a meal containing products from 3 animals. As I began to create this dish, I decided I could actually easily incorporate five. As a pescetarian, I ate a vegetarian diet + seafood. I did this for many years after a trip to Gainesville where I had a Hardee's sausage biscuit. It was so completely inedible that all I could think about was how an animal died to make something that tasted so disgusting. It changed my whole philosophy about food. During my first pregnancy, I remained a pescetarian, but about a year ago, I decided to incorporate meat back into my diet. I decided that since the animals were going to be killed for meat anyway, I would prepare them in a way that was respectful and delicious! I also try to use animals that are humanely treated, like grass-fed beef and free-roaming chickens, or wild, like shrimp and fish. So here was tonight's delicious meal. It contained products from fish (cod filet), pig (chorizo sausage), cow (milk & butter), chicken (broth), and goat (cheese).  It was...phenomenal.

Chorizo & Cod Stew with Goat Cheese Polenta

For the stew:
2 chorizo sausages (uncooked)
1 cod filet (about 3/4 lb), cut into 2" squares
2 plum tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 t pimenton (smoked paprika)
salt & pepper to taste

For the polenta:
1 cup coarsely-ground cornmeal
2 cups milk 
2 cups chicken broth
2 oz. goat cheese
1 T butter
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brown the chorizo on medium heat in a nonstick pan that can go in the oven.

2. While sausage is browning, pour one cup of broth and one cup of milk into a large pot. When it begins to simmer, add cornmeal. Continually stir for 20 - 25 minutes, adding the other cup of each liquid as it begins to thicken.

3. When the sausage is browned, slice the sausage into about 1/2" thick pieces. Leave about a tablespoon of fat in the pan and discard the rest. Add the diced tomatoes, sliced garlic, sliced sausage, fish, pimenton, and 1 cup of chicken broth to the pan. Place the pan in the oven for 15 - 20 mins, until the fish is cooked through.

4. While the sausage and fish stew is cooking in the oven (during the last 2 - 3 mins of cooking), complete the polenta by adding the goat cheese and butter. Adjust seasoning as needed.

5. Remove pan from the oven. Serve stew over a mound of polenta on a plate.

Makes 2 servings.

Day 3 ~ Make food artwork.

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