I love porridge – it’s this warm, yummy, feel-good type of food and in the past, I’ve made breakfasts of Cream Of Wheat and fried up pieces of sausage or Genoa Salami (some might say ick, but it’s really good). So I thought I’d make a dish like that when I heard polenta as one of the ingredients. The sausage I knew I’d take out of the casing, I loved making kale chips and thought of making arugula chips (which have this really earthy flavor). The wildcard for me was the pineapple juice. What to do with THAT? So when I bought the sausage and saw it had fennel in it, I thought why not brown the sausage and then put the pineapple juice in with it to mellow out the flavors a bit. Turned out fine! Mixed it all together, topped with the arugula chips and served it up! This was a pretty uncomplicated dish for me without hardly any other ingredients. I wouldn’t say it was the prettiest of dishes, but it was homey.
Husband: Took the first bite and nodded, “good, very good.” We joked that his next word was going to be “tasty” (which it was and he says for anything he likes), but he liked it and ate the entire bowl and said “yes, you can make this again.” He couldn’t taste the pineapple addition at all. Daughter liked it a lot but did not like the arugula chips on top (arugula is a funny green – an acquired taste some might say). She said she could taste the pineapple juice, so go figure. Me? It was good, the chips I doused onto the polenta and that and the chewy sausage pieces were the best part.
NOTE: The next day we had leftovers – I took a huge wad of the stuff, flattened it into a pan and made a donut hole in the center – dropped an egg in it and fried it up, flipped it when browned and the egg was nearly cooked – gave it to my daughter for breakfast and that she LOVED. The polenta becomes a bit crunchy and like a hashbrown. So, without further ado, the recipe:
Sausage Polenta with Arugula Chips
- Polenta (I used the quick version box - takes literally 5 minutes)
- Sausage links (I used 6 sweet sausage links that had fennel added in them already)
- pineapple juice
- an entire bunch of arugula
- Olive oil
- butter (optional)
Follow the instructions on the polenta box (basically boiling it in water - add butter if you wish). Takes only minutes to cook - just remember to stir thoroughly and add the polenta slowly so you don't get clumps. I did get them and those I took out and threw away (though the ones I missed were my daughter's favorite parts!)
I squeezed the sausage out of the casings and fried it up, breaking it up with a spatula. Once it was browned, I added 1/2 cup of pineapple juice. I let that cook an additional 5 minutes and then I dumped it all right into the cooked polenta. It definitely needed salt - so keep tasting.
The arugula I washed thoroughly, rinsed and dried. Then gently tossed with 1 - 2 tbspns of olive oil and laid on a baking pan. I cooked mine for 10 - 12 minutes at 400 degrees - you want them crispy and slightly brown. Then I used a spatula to pick them up and crumbled them onto the polenta and sausage mixture. Result? YUM!