Joy - here is that polenta casserole I told you about. You could use regular pasta sauce (maybe 1 1/2 cups?) in place of the diced tomatoes or a jar of chopped roasted red peppers would probably be good. One thing I would change about the instructions is to just do less layers and omit the butter on top as I couldn't tell that it added any flavor. The mushroom wine mixture has plenty of good flavor. I belive I used a mixture of baby bellas and white mushrooms. And used Merlot for the wine. Let me know if you try it. It was softer for the first serving. The leftovers firm up a lot. It does freeze well. It is a lot of chopping, but I like the different flavors/textures.
2 tsp olive oil, divided
2 c chopped onion
3 c coarsley chopped cremini mushrooms (about 12 oz)
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 chopped garlic gloves
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tsp dried rosemary (I used 1 tsp Italian seasoning)
1 Tb tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups water
1 cup instant polenta (I just used 1 cup regular cornmeal and cooked covered over medium for 15 min stir often)
1/2 c (2 oz) grated fresh Parmesan
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tsp butter, in small pieces
Heat 1 tsp oil in skillet over med-high. Add onion, 8 min. Add shrooms, 1/2 tsp salt and garlic; cook 4 min stirring frequently. Stir in wine, rosemary and tom. paste. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 min. Stir in tomatoes and cook till thick (about 10 min). Remove from heat.
Bring water to a boil; stir in polenta and 1 tsp salt. Reduce heat to low, cook until thick (about 5 min), stirring frequently.
Spread 1/3 polenta mixture into 13 x 9 dish coated with 1 tsp oil (cooking spray is easier!). Spread half of tomato sauce over and top with 2 Tb parmesan and 1/8 tsp pepper (I would combine the ricotta and pepper beforehand, sprinkling the pepper on top made for super peppery areas and not so peppery areas!). Drop half of the ricotta onto the Parmesan. Repeat layers ending with polenta. Top with 1/4 cup parmesan and butter. Bake 25 min or till bubbly.
Yield 6 servings
Nutrition: Cal 235 Fat 7.5g (sat 3.5g) Fiber: 2.2g
I’ve had this Russian soup twice in my life before today. Once was in Moldova (within walking distance of the Ukraine border, actually!), and the other was in the girls home when a Russian born resident requested it for her birthday meal. I really liked it both times and thought, why not give it try? I used fresh beets which added a lot more work. I also didn’t follow the directions exactly…I used broth and ended up throwing it all in the pot at about the same time. I also added a small bag of shredded cabbage.
I was skeptical, and I’m not sure it turned out quite like I remember it being…but it was surprisingly good. If I make it again I will probably not bother putting meat in it, and I will used canned beets. If I’m going to go through the hassle of cooking fresh beets I like to just eat them the way they are. I would also probably reduce the vinegar, and maybe also serve the sour cream on the side. Another recipe I found had some additional ingredients, including a bit of brown sugar. I wonder if that wouldn’t cut the acidity of the vinegar and sour cream a bit.* Well, I have a HUGE pot of Borscht to experiment with one bowl at a time lol!
I got this recipe from Allrecipes.com.
(*Note: with all the left overs I did try different things, mainly putting a tablespoon or so in a bowlful of soup before heating it. It did help. Also found that the soup freezes okay, though I don't like the mushy consistency that food gets once it's been frozen and reheated. Even so, it worked ok!)
* 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
* 2 pounds country style pork ribs, chopped
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 6 cups water, divided
* 2 (15 ounce) cans red beets, drained and chopped, juice reserved
* 2 cups sour cream
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. In another pot, simmer ribs and onions in 4 cups of water for 2 hours, or until ribs are tender. Remove ribs, and set aside. Skim fat from simmering liquid, and pour in beet juice. Add chopped pork and beets, and bring to a simmer.
3. In a bowl, whisk sour cream together with 2 cups of water and the vinegar. Slowly stir into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over boiled potatoes.