While Bruce and I are pretty omnivorous, we each have our own strong preferences. He loves curry, dosa, and all things Indian; I gravitate toward anything Italian, particularly the red-sauce Italian of my Brooklyn youth. Thus, we have pasta once a week, and curry every moon or so, which I think is more than fair. Only occasionally do I get a chance to cook for myself alone, but I rarely take it. Bread, cheese, and fruit on a paper plate is my usual fare. However, this week it was a little too chilly in the apartment to think about a cold meal. I wanted Italian, but I didn't feel like pasta. Ordering a whole pizza for myself was out, as I might eat it. All of it. I poked around in the closet and found a tube of prepared polenta. Bingo. Set the oven to 350, then cut three half inches slices of polenta, heated a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan, and tossed them in. Five or six minutes on each side over medium-high heat, until they were golden on the outside and tender within. I used a paper towel to blot up any excess butter, so that I wouldn't get splattered when I added the sauce. I wasn't about to thaw a quart of homemade sauce, so I doused them with a good jarred brand. (I'm partial to Michael's of Brooklyn, partly because I used to walk by the restaurant on my way home from St. Brendan's High School.) Topped them with shreds of mozzarella, dollops of ricotta, and a shower of parm. Into the oven for ten minutes. Dust with more parm. (Is there ever enough? No.) They were tender, crunchy, gooey, and oozy. Perfect. Let cool slightly. Open a bottle of wine, grab a glass, and race to the couch in time for the finale of America's Next Top Model.
Pass me the wine, would you? I've still got an hour to kill before Top Chef.