Not Always Winners

For the most part when I try a new recipe I like it enough that I would make it again and therefore post it on the blog. When the meal comes up that I don't love much I just skip it and move on to the next. This week I only had two new recipes on my menu and I didn't love either of them but maybe it's just me. I decided to post a couple "failures" anyway...maybe someone else will love them :-).
Fiesta Pork and Cheesy Polenta
I was really excited about this one and overall it was pretty good. It was my first time making polenta and the only other time I tried it, it was in firm circles so I think the texture threw me off more than anything.
image and recipe via Rachael Ray
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* One 1 1/4-pound boneless pork loin, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* Salt and pepper
* 2 cups frozen bell pepper strips, thawed and patted dry (I used fresh peppers)
* 1 bunch scallions, green portions thinly sliced, white portions finely chopped
* 3/4 cup instant polenta
* 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used FF half and half)
* 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, cut into cubes
* 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat, swirling to coat the pan. Add the pork to the skillet in an even layer and season with the chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until just brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pork and any juices to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the bell pepper and finely chopped scallions to the skillet and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.
2. Whisk the polenta and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper into the boiling water and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to low, whisk in the cream, then stir in the cheese; cover to keep warm.
3. Add the corn to the bell pepper mixture and cook for 1 minute. Return the pork and any juices to the skillet and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the sliced scallions. Serve with the polenta.

French Fry Franks
This recipe caught my eye in The Food Network Magazine because I knew my kids would love it and I thought it seemed like a gluten-free twist on a corn dog. Unfortunately, a pack of curly fries comes with only 3 or 4 fries that actually work to go around the little hot dogs. When I saw that I decided to skip the mess of battering the hot dogs and just baked the dogs and french fries on a pan together. So, I didn't end up following the recipe at all, but the kids still thought it was quite a dinner treat.
image and recipe via Food Network
For the Franks:
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup cornmeal
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 1/4 cup milk
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
* Vegetable oil, for frying
* 18 cocktail franks (I used turkey ones)
* 5 to 6 cups frozen curly french fries, thawed slightly (about 1 pound)
For the Dip:
* 1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot Asian chili sauce) Juice of 1/2 lime
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
Make the franks: Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar and paprika in a large bowl. Add the egg and milk and whisk to make a thick batter, adding more milk if the mixture is too dry. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
Heat about 2 inches vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Dip the franks in the batter, then carefully wrap a long curly fry around each. (If desired, thread the franks on wooden skewers before wrapping with fries.)
Working in batches, fry the franks in the hot oil, turning, until golden on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt. (I was planning to just back them anyway)
Meanwhile, make the dip: Whisk the Sriracha, lime juice and mayonnaise in a bowl. Serve with the franks.


Chicago Cuisine Critique said...

Those little hot dogs are adorable. Too bad it didn't go as planned. :(