The Cooking Chronicles: More with Donna Hay

I hadn’t touched Donna Hay’s No Time to Cook for some time, but when I needed some inspiration for a few quick meals, I knew I would be able to find a dish or two that would pique my interest.

Polenta with Mushrooms and Goat’s Cheese

I clearly haven’t mastered the ratio of water to corn meal yet, as I learned from making a recipe for polenta with mushrooms and goat’s cheese. Instead of the desired creamy consistency, I hadn’t included enough water, so the polenta turned out almost solid in nature.

Thankfully, topped with some sautéed portobello mushrooms in balsamic vinegar and Smoky Valley St. Maure goat cheese, my poorly-made polenta was made somewhat more bearable.

Polenta with mushrooms and goat's cheese

Polenta with mushrooms and goat’s cheese

Still, both Mack and I were left wanting something else – either an additional textural element, or another protein of some kind.

Fennel-crusted Pork

We had better luck with the fennel-crusted pork. We used an Irvings Farm Fresh tenderloin (Mack thinks the word is much more amusing than it should be), sprinkled with fennel, rosemary, salt and pepper and seared until cooked through.

To accompany the pork was some shredded Kuhlmann’s cabbage and green apple cooked with butter, white wine vinegar and brown sugar.

Fennel-crusted pork

Fennel-crusted pork with cabbage and apple

We really enjoyed the dish – the pork remained perfectly moist and the fennel, as expected, complimented the flavours well. The cabbage was also surprisingly tasty from such quick preparation, and is definitely something we’ll make again, even apart from the pork. On any other day, I would have also added a starch of some kind – potatoes or a side of rice – but that night, I knew we would be heading out to the carb-laden Christmas fete at the Queen of Tarts, so the meat and vegetables were enough.

Thanks to Donna Hay for rarely letting me down!

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