Poached Eggs on Polenta with Vegetable Sauce

This is a neat little recipe to have handy for when any of these situations might occur:  a)  You forgot to take something out of the freezer for supper, b) You thought you were having dinner alone so you were going to just make a salad, but suddenly everyone’s plans changed and they will all be home for dinner, or c) Its the end of the week and the cupboard is bare, except for a few bits of leftovers.  Fear not!  This recipe will come to your rescue as long as you have a few basics in your pantry.

Poached Eggs on Polenta with Vegetable Sauce

Serves 4

  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal or instant polenta
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, plus extra for greasing dishes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt
  • 4-5 slices bacon cut into 1 inch pieces (can be omitted for a vegetarian entree)
  • 2/3 cup grape tomatoes (about 16) halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • freshly ground pepper
  • chopped chives, optional
  1. Generously butter 4 gratin dishes or creme brûlée  dishes, about 4-5 inches in diameter.  Any similar dish will do.
  2. For polenta, place chicken broth in a  medium size, heavy saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and gradually in a thin stream whisk in the cornmeal.  Stir constantly, until mixture starts to thicken, 3-4 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and butter, and stir until melted.  Stir in milk.  Taste and add salt if needed.
  3. Divide polenta evenly among the dishes and smooth the top.  Cover each dish with foil to keep warm and set aside.  I place in a 200 degree oven to achieve this.
  4. For vegetable sauce, heat a skillet on high heat and cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Drain excess bacon fat and discard, leaving a small amount in the pan. (substitute vegetable oil as needed)  Add the tomatoes, zucchini and green onions to the bacon drippings and sauté just until crisp tender. Add the bacon to the vegetable mixture.
  5. For the eggs,  use an egg poacher if you have one, otherwise prepare poached eggs as you normally would.
  6. To serve,  Place a poached egg on top of each dish of polenta. Salt and pepper eggs, then divide the vegetable and bacon mixture evenly among the 4 dishes.  Garnish with more grated Parmesan cheese and chives.

Additional notes:  I have prepared the sauce for this dish with whatever vegetables I have on hand.  Some others that are good are:  mixed red and green peppers, asparagus, spinach and fennel.

SOURCE:  A Carolyn Original


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