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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spicy Swai and Creamy Polenta

OK, so it's beige. I admit it, sometimes the best comfort food doesn't take the prettiest photograph. On the other hand, when they finally invent something where you can reach out through the computer and taste the fabulousness of the beige foods, I WIN! 

Seriously, I was craving something comforting after having been away from home for the weekend, and polenta always fills the bill. I didn't have any parmesan cheese, however, which is one of the ingredients in my usual recipe. And Ray cleaned out the refrigerator this weekend, so options were somewhat limited. What do we always have on hand? Cream cheese ! I honestly couldn't believe the creamy, almost silky texture this had when it was done. I spiced some fish filets aggressively to compliment the polenta, and it was exactly what I needed to welcome myself home.

You will note that we use quite a bit of swai in our household. It is easy to find, tasty, inexpensive, tasty and sustainable. Here is some information regarding swai, for those who have been asking:

Spicy Swai and Creamy Polenta
For the polenta: 
5 cups water 
2 teaspoons salt 
1 cup cornmeal 
4 ounces cream cheese 
2 tablespoons butter 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Slowly stir in the cornmeal, and reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until polenta is desired consistency. I usually make it a little thicker than I want the end result, as the additions will thin it out some. Add cream cheese and butter, and stir until thoroughly combined. Salt and pepper as needed. 

For the fish: 
4 swai filets
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper 
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Pat the fish filets dry, and rub with the spices. In a nonstick pan, warm the butter and olive oil until bubbly. Add fish filets, and cook 5-7 minutes per side, until golden brown. Serve on top of warm polenta. 


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