Cheesy Polenta and Egg Casserole
This memorable brunch centerpiece is rich with cheesy polenta, crumbled sausage, and baked eggs. Easy to make and oh so good, it is sure to become a family favorite!
(All but the Parmigiano-Reggiano is available at the Mill Spring Farm Store, how convenient!)
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup(s) onion, finely chopped
4 cup(s) water, plus more as needed
1 cup(s) yellow cornmeal (see Tips & Techniques)
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
6 ounce(s) Italian or other savory sausage, bulk or with casings removed
1/2 cup(s) white cheese, shredded
1/2 cup(s) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
6 large eggs
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk cornmeal into boiling water. Add salt and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until polenta bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking frequently, until very thick, 10 to 15 minutes.
(Tip: once polenta comes to a boil, transfer it to top of a double boiler, cover, and place over barely simmering water for 25 minutes. This is convenient, because you don’t need to stir it as it cooks.)
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain if necessary and transfer to a cutting board; let cool. Finely chop when cool enough to handle.
Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
When polenta is done, stir in white cheese and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. If polenta seems too stiff, add small amounts of water to thin it to a thick but not stiff consistency. Spread polenta in prepared pan.
Make six 2-inch-wide indentations in polenta with back of a tablespoon. Break eggs, 1 at a time, into a custard cup and slip 1 into each indentation. Scatter sausage on polenta and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly on top of eggs.
Bake casserole for 15 minutes. Then broil until egg whites are set, 2 to 4 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with a simple spinach salad
1 lb fresh spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart of fresh strawberries - rinsed, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts.
Make a simple balsamic vinaigrette; in a jar with a screw on lid, put
Shake vigorously to incorporate.
Put spinach into a bowl with strawberries and nuts, toss with balsamic vinaigrette.