Recipe: Goat Cheese Polenta with Andouille Sausage, Caramelized Onions and Arugula Salad

This dish may seem a little involved at first, but it’s really simple and comes together in about 30 minutes.  Husband likes warm and meaty dishes on cold nights.  The arugula lightens the dish and adds a lot of flavor.

Polenta

4 cups water or veggie / chicken broth

Olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a pan

2 Tbsp butter

Handful of chopped pancetta

Handful of goat cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Caramelized Onions and Andouille Sausage

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp butter

Olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a pan

½ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Packet of Andouille sausage, 4 – 5 sausages

Arugula Salad

1 large handful of arugula per person

Mustard, just a few drops

Red wine vinegar, about 1 Tbsp per person

Olive oil, to taste, I like a 1 to 1 ratio with the vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet, melt a little butter and olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan) over medium-low heat.  Slice the onions and add to the pan.  Sauté 3 minutes or so: until the onions are softened.

Left: Step 1 Right: Step 4

2. While the onions are softening, coat the bottom of a large saucepan in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the pancetta and garlic.  Cook until the pancetta is browned at the edges.  Add three cups of the water or broth to the pan: turn heat to high.  Let the liquid come to a boil.

Left: Step 2 Right: Step 3

3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining cup water and the cup of polenta.  Whisk together.

4. Go back to the onions, add the brown sugar and the smoked paprika.  Lower the heat slightly.  You want the onions to cook slowly, without burning off the liquid.  Season the onions with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. When the water / broth starts to boil, add the polenta slowly, whisking all the while.  Turn the heat back to low.  Stir the polenta frequently.  It will thicken.

6. Add the Andouille sausage to the pan with the onions.  Adding the sausage now will help to flavor the onions.

Step 7, making the dressing

7. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and some mustard. Whisk together.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil, whisking all the while, to create a nice thick dressing.  Drizzle over arugula.  Toss.

8. Add goat cheese to polenta. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.

9. In a serving dish, I like bowls, layer the meal as follows: polenta, onions and a sausage, top with the arugula.

Left: adding the goat cheese to the polenta. Middle: the finished onions and sausage. Right: the finished meal

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