Dani Goes South.

brunch

Parmesan Polenta & Shrimp Bowls with Rainbow Chard, Tomatoes, Crispy Prosciutto, & White Wine Sauce

DinnersDani ColombattoComment
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Today, I greet you with something insanely comforting, warm, and inherently, a part of my childhood. Growing up in a Northern Italian family, we ate a lot of polenta. I'll admit, my first experiences with it were lost on me as a 7/8 year old. I was like, why are we essentially eating cream of wheat with chicken? V confusing for me at the time. A few years later, and a few more experiences getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, and I understood the merits. It's a fully customize-able peasant food vehicle, that can be whatever you want it to be. Fried? Hell yes. Along with chicken cacciatore? Double hell yes, and also, that one's coming soon, guys. As a soft, herbaceous, Parmesan-laden bed for rainbow chard, tomatoes, crisp prosciutto, and juicy shrimp to rest upon? YAS. PLEASE.

Before we shrimp it up, just a quick word from my sponsor, Personal Anecdote. Wink emoji. 

My sweet boyfriend, Benjamin and I met when we were 16 and 17 respectively, dated when we were 18 and 19 for about 8 months, broke up, and found each other again as almost 30-year-olds. While there are so many reasons I hold our story so dear, it's honestly the gems of memories that keep popping up since we've gotten back together that never cease to amaze me. Mainly because it shows how we all take in experiences so differently and different moments stand out for each of us individually. For example: He shared with me a memory he had when we were like 18, and we went to dinner at the home of my wonderful grandparents, Joe and Joyce. This was a super regular occurrence, which is why I probably didn't absorb the experience as a future precious memory. In fact, still, the memory itself seems kind of anticlimactic. We were having polenta and bolognese sauce that night, and Ben simply said he remembered my mom, sister, and I each taking turns stirring the polenta when my grandma Joyce was occupied (most likely making drinks). Seriously, such a simple memory. If he would have told me that stood out to him at the time, I know without a doubt it would have been totally lost on me. Now, much has changed. We lost my grandparents in June of 2017, and now, that memory will forever be a little polenta post-it note in my mind. It's a tiny testament to the community created around meals in my family, and the ease of us all being together. Since I first introduced this as a sponsored anecdote, let's just go with the code SappySally2018 for 30% off your first month of Mental Post-Its. Screamin' deal, ya'll. Thanks for bearing with me.

Polenta time. 

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Cast Iron Frittata with Potatoes, Bacon, Kale, Tomatoes, & Feta- Plus, the Easiest Hollandaise

BreakfastsDani ColombattoComment
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Having people over for breakfast is one of those things that, to me, sounds great, but cut to asking like 7 people how they like their eggs, and I'm already mentally checked out and having some V deep regrets by egg order number 3. My parents always seem to pull this off with ease, and until I fully learn their octopus-arm ways, allow me to point you in the direction of this frittata.

First of all, this whole shebang starts with a base layer of rosemary roasted potatoes, so you know good things are happening. Then kale and mushrooms sauteed with butter and garlic get piled on, along with bacon, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and lots of scallions. Then the fluffy egg situation gets poured in, and then topped with more feta and scallions. Additionally, I realized after I made this, that it's totally gluten free. Happy accident! This couldn't be easier to throw together, and is totally impressive enough to make for the aforementioned breakfast get together, where you're trying to avoid cooking eggs 9 ways.  

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Chicken Enchilada Huevos Rancheros with Garlicky Crispy Kale

BreakfastsDani ColombattoComment
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My favorite weekend sports include farmer's markets, thrifting, and BRUNCH. Benedicts, Bloody Marys, pancakes, burgers, salads, and champagne all living in one place?! It's just everything I want to welcome all the weekend feelings. My parents, too, are big on brunch, and really, it's one of the more important lessons that's been instilled in my life. Ease into your day, have that coffee, watch that tacky morning show for a few, and then when you feel like it, get moving in the kitchen. There are SO many things I love about this dish. First of all, the components are partially make ahead, and what isn't make ahead, is thrown together so fast. Secondly, when I wake up on a weekend morning, possibly after a couple cocktails the night before, all I want is a big 'ol breakfast burrito.

This riff on huevos is inspired by my parents, but with my addition of the chicken and crispy kale. When I told my mom I was making this, her exact reaction was: "Oh my god that sounds so good... Wait, doesn't it weird you out eating the parent and the child together?" Well, when you put it like that...still no. It's delicious, and it all starts with our foundation: the beans. 

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