Recipe of the month

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Crispy Polenta with Goat Cheese, Pepper-Corn Relish and Poached Eggs

4 thin (about 1/4 inch)slices pre-cooked Polenta from a log (either store bought or home-made)

2 T. good quality olive oil

4 generous Tablespoons good quality goat cheese (you can substitute another cheese, but it won’t have the tangy appeal of goat)

1 t. fresh chives, snipped

4 eggs

¼ C. distilled vinegar

½ small onion, diced small (about the size of a large corn kernel)

½ of a red bell pepper, diced small

½ C. fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 T. olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

First, prepare the poaching water: Fill a large non- stick skillet or sauté pan with water and add ¼ c. vinegar to it. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Water should have bubbles all over the bottom, but not rising to the top.

Then, combine the goat cheese in a small bowl with fresh chives.  Set aside and keep refrigerated.

Then, make the relish:  In a sauté pan, heat the 1 T. oil on medium.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent (2 to 3 minutes).  Add the pepper and continue to cook until both are softened, about 3 minutes more.  Add the corn kernels and the parsely, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 more minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Crisp the polenta: In a skillet (I prefer a cast iron for this) or on a griddle, heat the 2 T. of olive oil on medium.  When oil is hot, place slices of polenta in the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side.  The bottom should be starting to get golden before you flip.  When both sides are golden and crisp, remove from pan and briefly drain the polenta on a paper towel.  Then, place on a very lightly oiled cookie sheet and keep warm in the oven.

While the polenta is warming, poach the eggs.  Gently crack each egg into a teacup and slowly pour into one spot in the simmering water. Let cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny.  About 3-4 minutes

To assemble:  On each plate, place one slice of polenta.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of goat cheese and slide the poached egg on top.  Surround with a decent scoop of relish and top with extra fresh cracked black pepper.