I had totally planned on my first post back from vacation to be filled with beautiful photos of sandy beaches, tropical drinks and plates of fried seafood. However, we spent most of our time passed out by the pool because the beach near our hotel was filled with rotting seaweed, which I guess is a commonly known fact about Galveston but not something they put in bold letters on the brochures, and Chase’s family are decidedly light drinkers so I unfortunately avoided many tropical beverages since I didn’t want to seem like “that lush that he married,” and there actually was a lot of great seafood but I was so concerned about covering up my sunburn with my tank top that I kept forgetting to take any photos.
Side note – if you ever have the chance to stay in a resort condo community that is completely empty because it’s about to go into bankruptcy – take it! You get all the perks of staying at a nice resort, only without the screaming kids doing cannon balls in the pool, and you can have the lazy river all to yourself whenever you want, and if you ask the concierge if they’ll do a private movie screening for your family they will scoff and be like “ummm…there’s no one else staying here, how could it NOT be private?” but ultimately it will happen. And that’s all that matters. I’ll admit, our vacation was a little, “The Shining” meets “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” but it really was the only way to go.
Moving on…here’s a recipe I made a week before I left! Just imagine that you simmer tender kidney beans in a super simple tomato sauce, and then pour it over smooth, creamy polenta. I know, right? It’s so delicious and amazing, and you need to try it. Almost as badly as you need to try an almost-bankrupt resort stay.
Creamy Polenta with Beans in Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup fine corn meal
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper
Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cornmeal and reduce heat. Continue whisking until the cornmeal is completely blended in and to ensure no lumps form. Season with salt and pepper and simmer on medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the polenta has thickened, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the butter before serving.
Beans in Tomato Sauce
1 cup dried kidney beans, or 1 15 oz can kidney beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablesoon tomato paste
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese, for serving.
If using dried beans, soak in water 8 hours or overnight. Drain, and then simmer in a pot of water for 1 hour, or until tender and creamy in the center. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until they are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the carrot and saute another 5 minutes. It’s fine if the onions start to turn brown. Add in the garlic and saute 1 minute more.
Add the oregano, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the beans. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Spoon over polenta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.