8/5/12

Video Attempt: Cooking on a (coin) Budget

As always, a million thank yous to my grandma. She's the best! (And for the numismatists out there, don't worry, we did hold on to a few of the more special coins.)

Grilled Polenta
slightly adapted from Mario Batali / Food & Wine
olive oil
2 cups polenta
6 cups water
salt

Lightly oil two glass baking dishes. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the polenta is thick, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot polenta evenly into the two baking dishes and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Let stand until firm, about 25 minutes. Light a grill and oil the grates. Cut the polenta into squares and grill over moderately high heat until crisp and lightly charred, 5 minutes per side.


Tomato Sauce with Bacon and Onion
via The Art of Simple Food
makes about 2 cups

Into a heavy pan over medium heat, pour: 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 slices bacon (or pancetta), cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Cook until the fat is rendered and the meat is lightly browned. Remove the meat and set aside. Add to the fat left in the pan: 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin.

Cook, stirring now and then, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add: 6 ripe medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 8 canned whole tomates, drained and chopped. Add salt to taste.
Cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Add the reserved bacon and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

[Serve squares of polenta topped with sauce and grated Parmesan.]


Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus via Gourmet
1 pound medium asparagus (1/2 inch thick; 12 to 15)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 to 15 thin slices pancetta

Equipment: 4 (12-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas).
Trim asparagus to 6 inches long, then toss with oil and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small dish. Wrap middle of each asparagus with 1 slice of pancetta. Thread 3 or 4 wrapped asparagus 1/2 inch apart onto each skewer.

Oil grill rack, then grill asparagus, uncovered, turning, until pancetta is golden brown in spots and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.
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35 comments:

Matthew said...

I would say this was a total grilling success even though we couldn't buy a friggin' grill mark on the polenta. Can't wait to grill more and more and more!! xoxo

Rebecca Altman said...

1. Grilled polenta is, like, one of my favourite things in the entire world. I think it is corn, perfected, and that corns that don't grow up to be grilled polenta want to commit harakiri.

2. Your new kitchen looks amazing.

3. It's really difficult to break a coin star, well done.

4. I don't think I could ever get Jam to watch Dirty Dancing with me, though I did get him to sit through Notting Hill...

Kimberley said...

Ugh, you're the best! Guess what, I love Dirty Dancing too! And I want to eat grilled polenta, right now for dinner.

Robb Witmer Full said...

Matt, you're very excited about grilling. But then again, we all should be!!! Every meal deserves to be cooked on a flame out-of-doors. And, what does it cost to ship a box full of pennies? Is it a good deal? I'm thinking of starting up a penny-shipping business, and could really use some grassroots info.

Matthew said...

Amy's grandma sends pennies (and everything) in USPS priority if-it-fits-it-ships flat rate boxes. That 70 lb box was like $11.00. She it trying to put USPS out of business, I think.

Amy said...

Woah!! Is that your backyard?! Well I'm moving to southern california. And awesome video, as always.

Robb Witmer Full said...

If that's the case, the penny-shipping business can't fail. I'll let you know if there are any investment opportunities. Maybe we could go halvsies?

Jessica said...

I'm completely obsessed with these videos! BTW The polenta and your new kitchen both look amazing :-)
-Jess

Matthew said...

Mark me down as "very interested" In the future everyone's gonna be shipping pennies everywhere.

Ashley said...

Hooray another Bon Appetempt video masterpiece! I busted out my headphones so I could play it at work. Awesome. And now I really want grilled polenta.

Tiffany said...

I am glad to see the shipping cost question has been addressed. Grandmas can be wily ones, and I admire your grandma's astute shipping sensibility.

talley said...

Polenta/onions/tomatoes were totally meant to be bought with pennies. Grills, not so much, but absolutely amazing that you did. I need to start dumping the change jars around here, especially since the Swiss roll in some big money change - a 5franc coin can get you a lot of onions! Love this video, this meal, the whole thing!

Mary Anne said...

what a lovely meal! but what i was truly blown away by was YOUR VIEW. DANG!

Melanie said...

LOVE this! You are so funny. And yes, Dirty Dancing is the best story ever.

sg said...

This is one of my favorites! Oh grandma's and their coins - I have a box full of "special" coins. Your new place is so awesome - I love the sunshine and colors.

amelia said...

hahaahaa thanks, Kimberley! And so glad you agree with me and Matt about Dirty Dancing... I mean, it's a great story.

amelia said...

Thanks, Ashley! And: headphones at work!! nice one!

penelope said...

LOL LOL LOL!!

Anonymous said...

A) I didn't know that you could grill polenta. Gotta try that. B) Congrats on breaking the coin star thing. C) Best vid yet, ya big dummy!

Kelsey said...

kitchen envy. period.

Nicole said...

Love all of this. Grill marks or no, I need to grill some polenta! I agree with your assessment of the future state of Baby and Johnny's relationship.

arpeggia said...

I love these videos :)

amelia said...

come visit! We'll cook something together!! :)

thefrancofly said...

I've already got polenta in the cupboard, but must retrieve a box of coins. My grandma prefers to gift $5 checks instead of her precious pennies.

Rachel said...

Somalia!

MsMorganLeigh said...

I love these videos... and your couch. Where did you find it?

amelia said...

Thanks, Ms. Morgan! As for the sweet couch, we got it at MACYs. who knew?! :)

Kara said...

That new kitchen looks amazing!!! Also, I couldn't help but notice that someone wrapped all that coinage to begin with...Grandma herself?

Beautiful use of the coin windfall, although I was also hoping you were going to blow it on a champagne appetizers hour. Which is how I know I would spend $200.

xoxo

kale said...

I love that you bought a grill! So smart. :)

tori said...

This has literally made my grey morning in London. Ok, back to work now.

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Eileen said...

Go Gramma! When you first mentioned the weight of the box & that it was mostly pennies, I thought the shipping was probably more than the coins. How wrong I was. NEVER question a Gramma's wisdom.

Ashley said...

I find these videos unreasonably entertaining.

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Unknown said...

Confused as why the bank was not an easy option, as the coins were already rolled, and basically counted. That was driving me crazy watching you spend the time to empty the awesome rolls... you can't pay someone to roll coins for you now! The bank won't even take unrolled change.