I have a magazine problem.
A few years back, I had subscriptions to entirely too many magazines. I never resubscribed to any of my cooking magazines, because I already had such a cache of recipes saved from various outlets, but I still received a couple other magazines. After I had Zachary, it was like someone notified family publishers and I started randomly receiving all of these parenting magazines, on top of the stack already taking up space in my living room. And so, they’ve been sitting there, unread, for ages.
Even though I probably don’t have much use for a Rolling Stone circa April 2009, Zachary seems to enjoy “reading” every single magazine on the rack. Frequently. He calls every kid a “girl” regardless of sex, enjoys pointing out the cars and dogs, and relishes in ripping out the subscription cards.
I decided to actually start reading some of my magazines—the ones that weren’t time-sensitive—so I began with several Real Simple magazines. I came across this recipe in the back of one of the issues, and I had nearly all the ingredients to make it, so it went on the menu a couple days later.
I didn’t have grits, so I used cornmeal and essentially made polenta. I know there is a difference between grits and cornmeal, including the grind, but I can never remember exactly what that difference is, and besides, I don’t really stock grits. Also, I didn’t have a bell pepper around, but I did have some frozen tricolored peppers, which I used in this recipe. I also lacked shallots (okay so maybe I didn’t have nearly all the ingredients after all…), but I used onions & garlic. Finally, I used chicken andouille.
The original recipe calls for boiling the greens and then removing them and cooking the grits in the same pot. While this does save a pot, I decided to just cook them separately, so I could start everything a little earlier and so I wasn’t cooking a small amount of polenta in a massive pot. I made the vast majority of the andouille sauteé as the liquid for the polenta boiled, and then just kept it warm so I could focus on whisking the polenta.
Sautéed Andouille with Greens and Grits/Polenta
Adapted from Real Simple
1 large bunch collard greens, thick stems removed, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp. canola oil (only if you are using chicken sausage)
3/4 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced or about 1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2/3 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup milk (I used skim milk)
1.5 cups chicken broth, divided
3 oz. sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 Tbsp. butter
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the collards and simmer until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain well.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high, heat he canola oil if you are using chicken andouille. Otherwise, add the sliced andouille directly to the hot pan. Cook until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Stir in the onion and bell pepper, and cook until tender. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, sausage, and the cooked collards. Stir until the collards and sausage are reheated.
Meanwhile, make the polenta. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add the polenta, whisking to incorporate and prevent any clumping. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the mixture has thickened and the cornmeal is soft, stirring frequently. If the mixture gets too thick, add additional chicken broth.
Off the heat, stir in the cheese and the butter. Season the polenta with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the andouille and greens over the polenta.