Follow me through the adventures that take place in my kitchen, in restaurants or in other kitchens. Cooking and food are my passions and I want to share my experiences of cooking, baking and eating with you.
I'm a Greek self-taught cook who lives in Chicago. I learned a lot about cooking from both of my grandmothers, my mom and dad, family and friends. Passing on timeless traditions through food is one thing I strive to do in life.
These are my journeys through culinary exploration...
clraptis (at) gmail (dot) com
I bought a beautiful bunch of rainbow chard at the farmer’s market - but had no clue what to do with it. I knew I had to use it all in one dish because otherwise it would go to waste. I didn’t want to just sautee them… BORING! I had some polenta that I wanted to use and then I found this recipe online. Perfect! I thought it was a great, healthy way to utilize these greens - yet make a composed dish that would satisfy anybody’s hunger!
INGREDIENTS 1 T. olive oil 6 garlic cloves, minced 8-10 C. chopped Swiss chard, stems and leaves kept separate 1 T. butter 2 C. lowfat milk 1 ½ C. water ½ t. salt 1 C. cornmeal 3 T. grated Parmesan cheese 1 C. partskim grated mozzarella cheese ⅓ C. sour cream
DIRECTIONS: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sautee, then stir in the Swiss chard stems. (Look at the color of those stems! Gorgeous!!)
Pour in a few tablespoons of water and cover the pan. Cook the stems for a couple of minutes until they are tender. Here is where I added my own twist, some sliced portabella mushrooms for that meaty-ness.
Then mix in the Swiss chard leaves and grate a little fresh nutmeg on them.
Sautee until wilted down, then remove the pan from the heat and let cool, uncovered.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 2½ quart shallow baking dish and set it aside. To make the polenta, combine the milk, water and salt in a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly drizzle in the cornmeal, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and whisk the polenta until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes and tears away from the sides of the pan (about 5 minutes). Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the 1 tablespoon of butter and the mozzarella cheese.
Spread half the polenta in the baking dish.
Spoon on the Swiss chard and distribute it evenly. Drop on small spoonfuls of the sour cream and spread it with the back of a spoon.
Spoon on the remaining polenta and spread it out.
Sprinkle on the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. (The casserole may be prepared to this point and refrigerated up to 24 hours in advance. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and sizzling. Serve immediately.