Orange Food

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November 5, 2011 by buttermilkbaker

Are you ready for some orangeee foooood? (Sportscenter? ESPN Football? Anyone?)

Nevermind.

Soo I’ve been eating a lot of delicious grub. And not publishing it. I don’t have any good excuses except that it just felt forced…until now. Let’s get back to it!

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Above you see my first attempt at making homemade polenta. Sounds a little daunting, no? Home-made po-len-ta? Too complicated, too much cooking time, too many syllables.

Ummm, that’s just plain wrong. I don’t know where I got such lofty and misguided ideas about polenta (aka corn grits), but the stuff is easy to make and doesn’t take very long at all to prepare!

While I stupidly didn’t document the cooking process, I can honestly tell you that it was easy-peasy. My Bob’s Red Mill package gave me a 3:1 ratio of water:polenta, so I decided to scale it down to a single person friendly portion. First, you’ll need to get 1 1/2 cups of water boiling in a pot with some sea salt, and semi-slowly add 1/2 cup of grits. Stir as it goes in. Then, for a truly autumnal dish, add your star ingredient to the mix: PUMPKIN.

A big dollop of Libby’s silky pumpkin puree will turn the mixture a deep golden color, while spices (pepper + smoked paprika), sweetness (maple syrup + a bit of honey), and a teeny bit more liquid (milk + some water) finish it off. Adjust these to your personal taste–and try not to burn off all your tastebuds while taste-testing. Burnt tastebuds = not ideal.

And just stir, stir, stir until it reaches the consistency you want! This took about 20-30 minutes for me.

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When it was done, I poured it into a large serving dish to let it cool and set. This enabled me to cut it into cute little pie-shaped pieces later. (Cooling can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on the size/shape of your dish.)

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But that was all fine and good because I had lots of chopping to do in the meantime. I was feeling more sweet than savory for dinner, so I opted to create a hearty plateful of roasted delicata squash + honeycrisp apple as (another) side dish. A dinner of sides? Why not.

For this, all I did was nuke my squash for a few minutes to soften the skin, scoop out its seedy innards, and slice it into itty bitty pieces (for quick roasting). For the apple, I just diced it while the squash was in the micro–skin on and all.

Tossed in a bit of EVOO, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt + pepper before going into the 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. This came out tender, sweet, and tangy! It went so well with a light spinach salad and the creamy polenta (which I topped with a bit of grated asiago and truffle oil, obviously).

For dessert: more orangeness! (ish)

The rest of my apple + a few slices of banana sauteed with cinnamon in a bowl of crunchy cinnamon granola and almond milk. Simple, quick, and oh-so-satisfying.

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