For weeks I’ve been ogling polenta recipes that come up in my Pinterest feed. Saucy, savory foods like poached eggs and short ribs are piled on top of creamy or cheesy polenta, and each dish looks like a delicious pile of blended flavors and textures that torments my culinary soul. (Yes, I have a separate soul for food. Don’t you?) Torment why, you ask? Alas, my friends, polenta is made of ground corn, and corn is not an option for me.
But then I had a brainstorm! Replace cornmeal polenta with creamy wheat cereal! Same texture, similar flavor, but completely legal for me. Score!
My brain storm turned into a brain hurricane as I mentally added herbs, bacon, and a poached egg to my faux polenta dish. It became a tantalizing idea in my imagination that I just couldn’t wait to try.
And it met my every heart desire for a breakfast dish. This beautiful dish might look complex with its long list of instructions, but it’s actually quite easy. A few simple ingredients are cooked separately and then brought together for the glorious blend of flavors and textures we spoke of earlier. And then the dish is bathed in nature’s best sauce- the runny yolk of a fresh egg. Mmm!!!
- 2 1/2 c. water
- 1 farm egg (or freshest quality egg you can get)
- 1 c. water
- 1/4 c. hot wheat cereal
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 c. shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 pieces thick-cut bacon
- Slice the bacon strips into pieces a little less than half of an inch wide.
- Heat a medium sized skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bacon pieces to the skillet. Stir to turn the pieces occasionally.
- While the bacon is cooking, mince the garlic cloves.
- When the bacon is crispy and deep red, remove all pieces to a doubled over paper towel. Turn the burner down to medium-low.
- Pour off the bacon oil into a jar or mug and reserve for cooking in another recipe. Leave about 1 tsp. of bacon oil in the pan.
- Add the minced garlic and fresh thyme to the skillet.
- Stir consistently until the garlic is toasty brown and the thyme is nice and fragrant. Remove the herbs from the pan and the pan from the burner.
- In a medium sized pot, bring the 2 1/2 c. water to a steady simmer.
- While the water is heating, gently crack the egg into a ramekin or small bowl without piercing the yolk.
- When the water has reached a simmer, stir it vigorously in wide circles with a slotted spoon to create a whirlpool. Carefully dump the egg into the funnel in the center of the whirlpool. Following the motion of the water, any wayward egg white should wrap around itself.
- After about 1 minute of cooking, gently slide the slotted spoon under the egg to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- After four additional minutes of cooking, remove the poached egg from the water with your slotted spoon and gently place it on a folded paper towel to drain.
- In a separate pot, bring the 1 c. water and hot cereal to a boil. Stir often to keep the cereal smooth.
- When it has reached a boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the cooked garlic and thyme to the wheat cereal, and stir in the shaved parmesan cheese.
- Place the wheat cereal on a plate, carefully top it with the poached egg, and sprinkle the bacon crumbles over the plate. Enjoy!
I’m sharing this post at Fiesta Friday #19!