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Make Your Own Meals: Serve Brunch at Home #30DaysofGOOD Make Your Own Meals: Serve Brunch at Home #30DaysofGOOD

Make Your Own Meals: Serve Brunch at Home #30DaysofGOOD

by Evan George

June 24, 2012

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for June? Make your own meals.

A night of moderate to heavy drinking should be treated the next day with a healthy dose of fat, protein, and starch—all washed down with strong coffee. Things you should avoid when you have a hangover include long lines, direct sunlight, and math problems that come in the form of divvying up a complicated restaurant tab. So keep the party going—in your kitchen.

Of course, even if you don't drink, brunch is a great way to celebrate the weekend. So invite a few friends over and serve up something tasty. Here’s one idea for a 30-minute breakfast bowl. You’ll need the motor skills to operate a blender and the patience to stir a pot. That meditative motion might be just what the doctor ordered.

Polenta Rancheros
(Serves two)

Ranchero Salsa
2 large tomatoes
3-4 jalapenos
2 scallions
1 handful of cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Herbed Polenta
1 cup of polenta meal
2 and 1/4 cups of vegetable stock
6 oz. of queso fresco
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Half of a white onion
1/2 cup of fresh herbs (chives, parsley, cilantro, dill)
1 poblano chili
2 farm eggs
Enough olive oil for frying

1. Start with salsa. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in quarters and the jalapenos in halves. Quickly de-seed the chilis, scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Lightly coat a shallow roasting dish or cooking tray with olive oil, then arrange the chilis and tomatoes for roasting. Place scallions on top and slide into the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

2. Roast the poblano. Lay it directly on a stovetop burner so it balances on the metal above the flame. Turn the stove to medium-high. Cook for about a minute on each side. Once the skin blackens, turn the poblano 90 degrees using tongs. Repeat until thoroughly blackened. Remove and set the poblano in a bowl covered with a plate. (The steam will help you peel off the skin.)

3. Cook your polenta. Measure and set out your main ingredients: dry polenta, vegetable stock, cheese, half a white onion, and the herbs. Chop the onion. Place a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove and set to medium heat. After 30 seconds, add one tablespoon of margarine or butter and drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil. After another 30 seconds, toss in the chopped onion. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. Add one cup of the vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Let cook until it reaches a slow boil, then add half the polenta meal to the pot. Stir with a whisk and let it cook like this for a few minutes. Once the polenta starts to thicken, stir continuously to keep from sticking. Add the second half of the dry polenta and most, but not all, of the stock. Let it return to a boil.

4. While you wait, chop your herbs and set them aside. Check on the poblano. If it’s cool enough to handle, gently scrape off the burnt skin, de-seed it the same way you did the jalapenos, and chop it up.

5. Once the polenta starts bubbling again, go back to stirring continuously. Taste it. If it’s grainy, add the rest of the stock and cook another couple minutes while stirring. If it's creamy, add the chopped chili and crumble in the cheese. Lastly, add the herbs (save a small handful of cilantro for your salsa). Taste again and salt as desired. Cover and set aside.

6. Once the scallion starts to brown, remove the salsa fixings from the oven. Put them in your blender, along with some cilantro, and mix until you have a smooth salsa. Salt as desired.

7. Heat a non-stick skillet or a well-greased cast iron pan and fry two eggs.

8. To plate, scoop a big pile of polenta into a shallow bowl. Make an indentation where you can ladle the salsa. Top with a fried egg, sprinkle salt and pepper, and top with any remaining herbs.

We're giving away $500 for you to unite your community and "Make More Meals" from locally-sourced foods. Participate in our Share a GOOD Recipe challenge.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Bill Sullivan

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