Polenta Breakfast Bowl

Polenta Breakfast Bowl

Eggs are our household go-to breakfast item, but I often find myself making the same thing over and over again (fried egg sandwiches, egg/avocado toast, scrambles and omelettes). This morning, I was feeling creative and with some extra time on my hands decided to surprise my husband with something new. I perused the garden, pantry and refrigerator for inspiration – the end result was this deliciously creamy polenta breakfast bowl filled with smoked bacon, veggies and roasted tomatoes topped with a pillowy poached egg.

  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (I also added a few shishito peppers from the garden)
  • 5 pieces of applewood smoked bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tomato, roasted
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 2 eggs
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baby spinach (crispy kale is also a great substitute)
  • Scallions, chopped for garnish
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While oven is preheating, place bacon pieces in a heavy skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Drain fat, leaving about a tablespoon in skillet for the vegetables.

Place sliced tomatoes on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until slightly chard.

Prepare two saucepans; add 1 1/2 cups of water to one for the polenta and fill other 3/4 way with water for the poached eggs. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the saucepan used for the eggs. Bring both to a boil.

While water is boiling, add the peppers and onions to the skillet used for the bacon, season with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until tender. Transfer to a bowl.

Slowly stir in the polenta and continue to stir until all the water is absorbed. Reduce heat, add in the milk and butter and continue to stir until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep pan on low until ready to serve.

Crack egg in a small bowl. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Using a spoon, swirl the water in one direction creating a whirlpool effect. Carefully slide the egg in the center of the whirlpool. Repeat with the second eggs. Let eggs cook for about 3-4 minutes (depending on how you like your poached eggs). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Quickly wilt spinach (add pinch of red pepper flakes) in skillet.

To assemble, divide polenta into two bowls and top with onions/peppers, spinach, bacon and poached egg. Add in roasted tomato slices and season egg with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallions.

Serves 2

Polenta Breakfast Bowl

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Grilled Summer Squash & Prosciutto Ribbons with Mint-Lime Dressing

Squash Ribbon Skewers
The arrival of summer means getting outdoors, enjoying time on the patio and firing up the barbeque. One of my favorite things to do during the warmer month (besides hiking or heading to the coast) is throwing local ingredients on the ‘que and enjoying dinner “al fresco style” with friends and family.

Each week, I head down to my favorite local produce stand (Mike’s Truck Garden) in Santa Rosa, California. This past week, I picked up some beautiful summer squash, prosciutto, a bag of Bing cherries along with other vegetables to get me through the week. As I was searching for inspiration for a new “summer squash” recipe, I came across this simple grilled squash kebab recipe from Food & Wine magazine. This recipe was so easy to make and delicious that I thought I should share it with all of you. It’s perfect as a light main dish, appetizer or side dish and it taste great straight from the grill or tossed with whole wheat pasta.

Squash Ribbon Kebabs

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
6 slices of prosciutto, cut in half
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup chopped mint (feel free to add more mint as desired)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt and ground pepper, to taste

Light the grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, mix together the lime zest, lime juice, mint, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Alternately thread the zucchini, yellow squash and prosciutto on kebab skewers. Lightly brush the remaining olive oil over the vegetables and prosciutto. Lightly season with salt and pepper (try to avoid seasoning too much salt on the prosciutto pieces). Grill the skewers over high heat until the vegetables are lightly charred, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes each side. Serve with the mint-lime dressing on the side.

Cheers and have a safe Fourth of July holiday! ~Crystal

Creekview Cabernet Braised Short Ribs

Cabernet Short Ribs

Whew! Looks like some time has passed since our last blog post! What can I say… December was a busy month with the holidays and all, not to mention the planning of my sister’s baby shower (pictures will be up soon!) So thanks for sticking around… 2014 has kicked off to be a fabulous year so far and we can’t wait to share our latest posts with you. First of which is this AMAZING Cabernet Braised Short Ribs over crispy polenta.

  • 8 beef chuck short ribs
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 1/2 cups Creekview Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Slow cooker for braising

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the short ribs, season with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes each side. Carefully place the caramelized short ribs in your slow cooker.

Add the minced onions to the skillet and cook on medium heat until they are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and mash the paste into the onions and continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Add the Cabernet, beef broth, brown sugar, salt, pepper and flour. Stir well. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer. Pour the sauce over the ribs in the slow cooker and cook for 5 1/2 – 6 hours on high. The meat should be falling off the bones!

Serve over creamy polenta or crispy polenta cakes and enjoy with a glass of Creekview Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cheers ~ Crystal


Wine Pairing

Creekview Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

I decided to open up a beautiful 2006 Creekview Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Clara Valley. I’ve had this bottle for a few years now and thought tonight was the perfect time to crack it open, incorporate it in this dish and enjoy a glass. Aromas of dark cherry and plum with a hit of vanilla. Full bodied with flavors of licorice, cherry and cocoa and a smooth, soft finish. While there isn’t any 2006 left to get your hands on, the 2010 vintage is tasting amazing and available online or at the winery.