White Cheddar Polenta Souffle | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

White Cheddar Polenta Souffle

 

White Cheddar Polenta Souffle | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day Recently we went on holiday to Greece and did practically nothing for three days. Even though I’m generally a lazy person, I tend to struggle with doing nothing. Not accomplishing things makes me feel guilty and anxious, so initially, the thought of being halfway up a huge hill in the middle of nowhere seemed stiflingly boring. Usually when we travel, I’m rushing to pack in as much sightseeing as possible, but in Kefalos, we saw the whole town in a couple of hours. 

But when I finally accepted that there was nothing to do but read, nap, and eat, I let go of the guilt and embraced the boredom wholeheartedly. Laying in the shade by the pool with my kindle all day and only leaving the hotel in search of hummus and halloumi was pretty spectacular. My only regret is that we didn’t discover the gelato place sooner. I definitely would have gone every day to try all the different flavors. 

Since we’ve returned home, our house has been in utter chaos because of some renovations we’re having done, and I’ve just been reverting back to that do nothing mode. Given that things have gone back to utter chaos at work as well, I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening than reading in bed.

I’ve finally put down my book long enough to tell you about a delightful recipe we enjoyed recently, White Cheddar Polenta Souffle. I know, you think souffle is fiddly and complicated, and while there is a tiny bit of technique involved, it’s really much harder to screw up than you’d think.

This souffle has tons of flavor from the sharp white cheddar and a great texture boost from the cornmeal. Don’t be a doof like me and forget to butter your dish right to the top so that you can get the ultimate rise in your souffle. This is best served right away, but as there are only two of us, we ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and still enjoyed it. 

White Cheddar Polenta Souffle | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Sometimes trying new things means doing next to nothing, other times it’s cooking a souffle to impress no one other than yourself. This White Cheddar Polenta Souffle is definitely worth it.

White Cheddar Polenta Souffle

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (stone-ground if possible)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Make sure you've removed any racks from the top of your oven and that you've placed a rack in the bottom third of your oven, then preheat it to 375F.
  2. Butter the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 1.5 quart souffle dish, and make sure you get right into the corners.
  3. Add the grated parmesan to the souffle dish, and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Tap and shake the parmesan all the way around the pan to coat it completely in the cheese. Remove the plastic wrap, pour out any remaining cheese into a dish and set aside for later. Place the souffle dish in the fridge until you're ready to fill it with souffle.
  4. Place the butter, 2 cups of water, cornmeal, garlic, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir together and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often for about 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat until light in color and slightly thickened.
  6. Ever so slowly, add bits of the polenta mixture to the egg yolks, whisking continually until you've worked in about a third of the polenta. This allows you to raise the temperature of the egg yolks slowly so your eggs don't scramble. After you've worked in about a third, you should be okay to add in the rest of the polenta and whisk it together until smooth. Add the cheddar, cayenne, and the rest of the parmesan. Stir it all together and set aside while you get on with your egg whites.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat your egg yolks and 1 tablespoon warm water with an electric mixer (using the whisk attachment if that's an option) until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and continue to whisk to medium peaks.
  8. This is the perfect time to remove your souffle pan from the fridge.
  9. Add a quarter of your egg whites to your polenta mixture and fold gently until combined. Keep adding egg whites about a quarter at a time until everything is incorporated being as gentle as possible. The bubbles in the eggs is where you're going to get all the lift, so be careful with them.
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Raspberry Margarita | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Halloumi Fries | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Halloumi Fries

Halloumi Fries | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re heading off for a little holiday on the Greek island of Kos in a few weeks, and I’m pretty excited. This will be the first holiday my husband and I have had just the two of us since maybe ever. I’ve never been to this part of the world, and I have no idea what to expect. Whatever’s out there, I can’t wait to explore it with the man I love.

I imagine the Greek Islands to just be positively dripping with history. I mean, this is sort of where Western history starts, so I imagine the entire island is like a living museum. I’m probably wrong, but there’s no denying this place will have seen a lot of action over the centuries. 

As a picky eater, I’m always a little bit concerned about going hungry when I travel, but I love hummus, and falafel is usually a winner as well, so I think I can survive four days in Greece without having to go to McDonald’s. 

Halloumi Fries | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You know what else is awesome? Halloumi Fries! Have you tried this? Halloumi is a dense, salty cheese, the sort that squeaks against your teeth when you bite into it. Dredged in flour and quickly fried, these are a lightly crispy dream. I loved them dipped in sweet chilli sauce. I think the sweet heat is the perfect foil to the intense saltiness of this cheese.

Making Halloumi Fries at home couldn’t be easier. To keep from burning your house down, make sure you have a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, long tongs, and a thermometer to control the temperature of your oil. All you have to do is cut your brick of cheese into sticks, dredge it in seasoned flour, and drop it into the oil for a minute or two until it’s golden brown. Give it a minute to cool on a wire rack so you don’t burn your face off, then try to stop eating them before you clog all your arteries.

Halloumi Fries | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Have any of you been to Kos before? What should we do? Where should we eat? Share your wisdom. I hope it’s awesome.

Halloumi Fries
Serves 4
Halloumi Fries are a cinch to make and a total treat to eat.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup plain flour
  2. 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  3. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  4. 225 gram block of halloumi
  5. Oil for frying
  6. Sweet chilli sauce, for dipping, optional
Instructions
  1. Add your oil to whatever vessel you'll be frying in, giving yourself about two inches in depth. Clip on your thermometer and heat your oil to between 350 and 375. Keep an eye on the temperature throughout the cooking process and adjust the heat to stay within this range.
  2. On a plate or another flat container, mix together the flour, paprika and pepper. You don't need salt as the cheese is plenty salty on its own.
  3. Cut your block of halloumi into sticks.
  4. Dredge each stick of cheese in the seasoned flour and carefully lower it into your pot of hot oil. I can usually add about four sticks of cheese before the first one needs to come out. They brown fairly quickly, so just keep an eye on the pot as your dredging and dropping, and use your tongs to remove the cheese sticks that have browned as much as you like.
  5. As you remove the cheese sticks, allow them to cool on a wire rack over a baking sheet. They'll crisp up as they cool.
  6. Serve warm with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
Adapted from Tesco Magazine
Adapted from Tesco Magazine
http://awesomeon20.com/
Breakfast Pizza | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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20 Awesome No-Bake Treats
Breakfast Pizza | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Right, we’ll talk about breakfast pizza in a minute. First, can we chat about working out? You know I hate it intensely. I’ve managed to make it to week 5 of a couch to 5K app without dying, but I’m on the verge of quitting again. I have to run 20 minutes straight, and if I don’t die of a heart attack, I’ll surely die of boredom. I can’t think of anything more dull than running for 20 minutes straight. Running is the actual worst.

We watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the first time the other night, and I think I may have found my dream workout class. Not that it exists. If someone ran a sexy super spy fight choreography fitness class, I’d sign up for sure. I always hear women talking about going to pole dancing classes rambling on about how empowering it is. I’m giving a hard eye roll to that. Teach me to kick ass like the Black Widow. That’s gotta be some real empowerment. 

I don’t want to actually hurt anyone. I just want to learn movie fighting. It’s so beautiful somehow. Does anyone else want to sign up for this imaginary class with me?

Breakfast Pizza | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I doubt Scarlett Johansson gets to eat Breakfast Pizza before getting geared up in her leather suit with her choke wire. She probably has to be carb-free for a month and go on a juice cleanse to fit into all of that. But we’re not action movie stars, so we can eat as much breakfast pizza as we want. Lucky us because it’s pretty hard to stop eating this.

To make this recipe in the UK requires a few adjustments because of the different ingredients that are available. I used puff pastry for the crust because they didn’t have any croissant dough available. I used this triangular frozen hash Breakfast Pizza | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day browns but smashed them up in the pan as they were cooking. I also used my old standby of Cumberland sausage jazzed up with cumin and crushed red chilli flakes. Cheddar cheese and eggs are still cheddar cheese and eggs.

 

Maybe if we go to super spy class, we can eat Breakfast Pizza without feeling guilty. Or we could just skip the guilt, and eat what makes us happy. It’s gonna be awesome.

Breakfast Pizza
Serves 6
Breakfast Pizza has all your morning favorites delivered on a flaky crust.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cans crescent rolls (you may not need them all, but buy two just in case) or 1 can croissant dough or 1 sheet puff pastry
  2. 1 pound sausage meat, casing removed
  3. Frozen hash browns (enough to cover a 10 inch skillet)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  8. 4 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Start cooking your sausage in a skillet over medium high heat. Break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. You can add some extra seasoning if you like.
  3. In the meantime, spread a layer of crescent rolls over the bottom of a pizza pan or baking sheet. Rectangular breakfast pizza is completely acceptable. Pop this in the oven for five minutes to get a head start on cooking. This will prevent soggy crust.
  4. When the sausage is cooked through, carefully remove it from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. In the same pan with the fat from the sausage, brown your hash browns. You may even need to add a bit more oil to prevent sticking. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss the potatoes from time to time to brown them on all sides. This should take five to ten minutes depending on how brown you like them.
  6. Assemble your pizza by spreading the sausage around your parcooked crust. Next pile on the hash browns. Scatter the whole thing with cheese.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, beat four eggs. Ever so carefully, pour the eggs over your pizza, allowing it to seep through all the crevices.
  8. Bake your pizza in the oven for 20 minutes until golden. It will smell like sausage heaven when it's ready.
  9. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. I like mine dotted with hot sauce.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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