Saturday, March 23, 2013

"The Quattro-P"

"The Quattro-P" - Poached Parmigiano Prosciutto Polenta
It seems that polenta is enjoying a resurgence in the restaurants lately.  My mom was a fan, and although it took a long time for me to catch on (believe it) I've been a fan for a long time now too.

This breakfast is a reminder that as my mother taught me, if you keep good ingredients in your house, you don't need a lot to create tasty stuff "on the spot."

After a crisp morning walk with my pup (ok, so crisp is a stretch for 33F in almost April, but I'm being positive here) and a hot mug of french press... I'm thinking "I don't have much in the house to eat, and I'd like something tasty with my Saturday morning Jazz" (thanks Uncle Gep.)

I've had spectacular polenta and eggs most recently at Nick's On Broadway so when I saw the polenta in my pantry my mind went straight to work... there was also fresh prosciutto, a nice piece of Parmigiano Reggianito, and some fresh Oregano... breakfast had taken shape and here's how you do "The QP":


  • White Polenta (~ 1/4c per serving)
  • (2) eggs (poached 3 min)
  • (1) slice of fresh, paper thin prosciutto
  • Parmigiano Reggianito, shredded (~1/4c per serving, reserve a bit to top the egg)
  • freshly ground black pepper & sea salt
  • fresh oregano (for garnish, but it's garnish I'm eating!)

Polenta:  Prepare the polenta according to your tastes and the instructions.  I disregard the water recommendations and add water/cook to a smoothness and consistency I like... it takes about 5-10 minutes, and then I let it stand in the pot - it holds heat just fine.

The rest:  I will assume you don't need me to tell you how to poach the eggs, but the "order of operations" once your polenta is standing, is to:
  1. Start the eggs poaching
  2. Add the cheese to the polenta (and a little water, if necessary to achieve your desired consistency. I like it very thick, and find I get good creaminess especially with a lovely cheese like the Reggianito, that I can avoid cream.  Certainly, cream adds decadence but sometimes we can do without... so it's your call, this will be tasty either way.) Move quickly while the eggs are poaching!
  3. Plate the polenta, I used a little crock, as you can see, but any ramekin will work equally well
  4. Place the prosciutto on top of the polenta
  5. Just as the egg(s) finish, place atop the prosciutto & polenta and garnish with the reserved cheese & the oregano.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

The beauty of the "crock" presentation is that the softer polenta (than say if you bake it into a cake) will combine with the egg yolk and the cheese, and then there's the saltiness of the prosciutto and the savory in the oregano, lions and tigers and bears, OH MY... it was good.

So please give it a try, leave me comments, and please remember:  To know good food IS to be close to God.  À salut!


  1. Looking forward to following you Jason. Maybe one of these days we will get to RI so you can show me how to cook one of these.... Who am I kidding? So you can cook something yummy for me! ;)

  2. My FIRST comment - couldn't have been from a more favorite person, love and miss you guys, all!