Does anybody else find they are less likely to cook when the temperatures are high outside? I am sure I am not the only one.
On top of the high temperatures in Chicago last week, Mike is on summer vacation. With him being home all day as opposed to the normal home arrival time of seven pm, I find it very hard to get work and recipe testing done.
I would rather spend this extra time with him than cooped up in the hot kitchen with the oven and all burners going. Yes, that might sound romantic, but really it is just because I don’t like him asking a million questions as if he is prompting my one-on-one cooking show. Due to that fact, I have maybe cooked once or twice.
So, now as if the above statement wasn’t bad enough, it is time to confess my secret shame from the last week. We instead have had food delivered and eaten from what feels like every fast food chain from Panera to Taco Bell in the last week. It is shameful, I know. But, it was just so hot!
This week, it is cooler but I still don’t really feel like cooking. So, knowing I don’t have the weather to use as an excuse, I am keeping things simpler.
I remember when my brothers and I were younger and my mom didn’t want to cook, she would make us BLT’s. She would cook the bacon in the microwave as to not create any extra heat in the kitchen that was already crammed with me, my brothers, and dad as eager on-lookers.
Nothing is better than a sandwich built around bacon, let’s be serious. I took my mom’s lead and used the quick BLT and put it on a bed of instant polenta mixed with creamy blue cheese. This meal makes me happy that I am not ordering fast food, and in the time that it takes bacon to crisp, you have dinner/lunch ready.
Then I can hustle out of the kitchen and shove a plate of food in front of Mike’s face before he notices I am in there making noise and starts to grill me on what I am making. Win-win.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
For the Polenta:
8 Tablespoons Instant Polenta
2 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
½ Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
Note: If you are not a blue cheese fan, feel free to substitute your favorite cheese instead.
For the Topping:
4 Pieces Crisp Bacon, sliced into thin strips
1 Tomato, diced
1 Cup Romaine Lettuce, shredded
Squeeze of Lemon Juice (about a ½ teaspoon per serving)
Pinch of Pepper for each serving
In a large skillet, bring the water and salt to a boil over medium heat. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the instant polenta. Reduce the heat to low and continuously stir the polenta for two minutes. Add the butter and stir for another minute. Then add the blue cheese crumbles and cook while stirring for another minute. Then turn the heat off.
Place about three heaping tablespoons full of polenta on to a plate. Top the polenta with a ½ cup of shredded lettuce, half of the diced tomatoes, and half of the sliced crisp bacon. Squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon juice over that stack of BLT toppings and then add a pinch of pepper. Serve while still hot, otherwise the polenta starts to stiffen and get gummy.