restaurant recreations.

I’ve mentioned before that I was a notoriously picky eater growing up.  Until the age of seventeen, I basically survived on pasta, chicken with barbecue sauce, and challah.  I even went so far as to refuse to drink any brand of milk other than the one sold at a specific supermarket in my town.  Yeah, I don’t know why my parents put up with me either.

Being so difficult got me into some uncomfortable situations over the years.  When I was about ten, I spent the afternoon at a friend’s house, and I was extended an invitation to stay for dinner.  My friend’s mother kindly said, “Oh, please stay.  You girls can watch Casper while I’m cooking.  I’m making asparagus.”

Casper?  Definitely.  Asparagus?  Gulp.  I quickly picked up the phone to “ask my mother’s permission.”  After a bit of creative conversing, my mom caught on that there was some type of green vegetable involved, and she “required” that I eat dinner at home.

Ironically, asparagus now happens to be my absolute favorite summer vegetable.  After enjoying the delicious asparagus appetizer at Tabla a couple weeks ago, I’ve been scheming a way to recreate the dish in my own kitchen.  

indian spices

I pulled out my trusty Indian spices, minus coriander, because I’m out.  Remember, flexibility is a good thing.

indian spiced polenta and asparagus

  • ~1.5 c asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 c red chard
  • 1/4 c stone ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 t curry powder
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t garam masala
  • 1 t evoo
  • 1-2 T fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400.  Roast asparagus for ten minutes.  

Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, coconut milk, and water in small saucepan.  Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and whisk constantly until thick, about 10 minutes.  Add spices and oil, whisk one more minute.  Remove from heat.  

Lightly steam chard on stove or in microwave.  Layer chard and asparagus on plate; top with polenta.  Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

asparagus and polenta

Not quite on par with Tabla, but delicious nonetheless.

Were there any foods you refused to eat as a child?



Filed under dinner

7 responses to “restaurant recreations.

  1. haha, that’s a funny story. I was the same way about green beans. I hid them under my napkin and snuck them to the dog. Mother never had a clue. Or maybe she did.

  2. LOL! Creative conversation and recreating a dish – genius.
    I also loved the previous post!

  3. traveleatlove

    My mom HATES asparagus, so we never had it growing up. I came to fear it, until I realized I love it! Looks like a great recipe!

  4. hahahahahaaa! I LOVED this story! I was a freaking picky eater too, and I don’t know how my parents endured me either. But I did get yelled a lot.
    I used to HATE broccoli. Just the sight of it made me wanna puke. Now, it’s my fav veggie!

  5. I used to HATE mushrooms. I don’t mind them now, but for some reason they just used to gross me out. 😉

    I LOVE aspargus. What a yummy recipe!


  6. i love the idea of these spices with polenta + asparagus!

    I didn’t like (and STILL don’t) like applesauce. I just can’t take the texture.

    I’ve also never liked baby carrots or raw carrots. I don’t mind them cooked, but not raw.

  7. how beautiful! i love indian spices too….

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