SOFT POLENTA WITH POACHED EGGS AND ARUGULA
I used to love Cream of Wheat. I was obsessed. I probably still love it now, though I never eat it anymore. Growing up, I had a very specific way I had to have it…a little milk poured around the edge of the bowl, a lot of butter in the center, and even more brown sugar sprinkled on top. Well, I think I have finally discovered my adult version of this breakfast. There is something about having a bowl of soft polenta in the morning that brings back my cream of wheat memories. The cheesy, silky texture is perfect with the runny egg yolk from the poached egg and the arugula adds a little bit of spice to balance the dish. Perhaps my favorite fall breakfast thus far….
3/4 cups homemade chicken stock, plus more for thinning out the polenta if necessary
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons of polenta
2 1/2 tablespoons of semolina
1/8 cup of fontina, cut up into small pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
red wine vinegar
2 small handfuls of arugula, washed
Fill a medium saucepan with water for poaching your eggs. Bring to a boil.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil. Add a quick grating of fresh nutmeg and the salt. Whisk in the polenta and semolina and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the grains are soft. If the polenta becomes too thick or stiff, simply add more chicken stock. I like my polenta on the runnier side, so I usually find myself adding stock.
While the polenta is cooking, add a splash of red wine vinegar to the pot of boiling water and start poaching your eggs. I usually cook mine for 3-4 minutes to get the consistency I like, whites cooked but a runny yolk on the inside. Cook 1 or 2 eggs for each serving, depending on how hungry you are.
In a large bowl, toss the arugula with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Once the polenta is ready to serve, stir in the fontina and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and blended into the polenta. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the polenta into two bowls. Top each bowl with the poached eggs and the arugula salad. Crack fresh pepper on top of the egg and a sprinkle of sea salt. Finish with a drizzle of good olive oil.