Mario Batali: Soft Polenta with Seafood

Mario Batali makes Soft Polenta with Seafood at the 2006 Classic in Aspen

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[MUSIC] First thing I'm gonna do is cook this polenta, because, well, we don't use quick-cooking polenta. Now, you could, if you wanted to make this more quickly. What's it save you? About 45 minutes. But this takes about We have 26 minutes till this is served. This takes 26 minutes. [LAUGH] Now the worst thing you can do when you're doing polenta is put too much of this stuff in it. In fact, I like my polenta to have the texture almost of, what's that French word? Cream of wheat. Cream of wheat. Yeah, but lighter than that. All right we get it going and it looks rather watery. When it comes up to a boil I may add a little bit more. It's better to add a little bit more polenta than try to save this murky, thick mass by continuing to add water. I do, however, have a gallon of water here boiling just in case. So we're gonna take a little garlic and some red chilis. Although not too many. Now I've had this dish in a little town called [UNKNOWN] which is just over the border from Croatia. It's just almost on the border of Croatia and Slovenia over just north of Venice in [UNKNOWN] And what they do is again they like to put the garlic into a slow pan. And then take a little bit less chili. I'm going to take about a third of one. Now, we've got Dungeness crab, we've also have jumbo lump crab. Both in my opinion luxury ingredients. I grew up on the west coast, lobster was something we could have two or three times a year. It was great. It was okay. It was kind of special, but compared To the deliciousness of crab. And the variety of kind of crabs that you've ever tasted in your life. These are two really good examples. You want to make sure you take the head of this body off like so. You don't have a hammer. Crash it like that. You want to make sure that you pull that body completely off and these little pieces in here that look like little lung dickies They're the best part of the whole darn thing. As well as, when you pull these guys off, this meat right here is the super premium. The claw stuff's for the Louie eaters and the big dippers. For the pasta sauces, you want to save this and when you get this liquid, just squeeze him out over here. There you go. Because his life's blood is our pure satisfaction. [laughs] And you get that nice little crabby thing going on there. That's more important. If you buy even one little piece of crab, that's more important than all of the other steps. If you can squeeze a little bit of that natural juice out of there. And we're gonna take this crab and keep in mind it's been cooked [BLANK_AUDIO] So we're just gonna gently warm it through, that's it. Now of course, the only thing it's really missing is a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, there. Again with the parsley, you're saying what's up. Boom, toss, to the plate. Now this is gonna be a little surprising. You're not gonna be ready for this. [BLANK_AUDIO] This is how thick I like my polenta. [BLANK_AUDIO] It's almost like a sauce. [BLANK_AUDIO] Now we're gonna do it like this, And you put that. Notice how you haven't broken it apart. And you put it in a big ole pile like that. And yeah baby. Or even more cerulean. This would also be a Del Posto classic. And now you have that dish as well. Now if you wanted to kind of guild a lily just a little bit Which I want to do. The Italians would not understand this, but I would take just a little bit of that lemon zest. And to kind of trip it up, because I don't know if you were at my seminar this morning when we were just trying to discover, or describe how Suzanne Gowen, Patrick O'Connell and Marcus Samuelsson and I All arrived at flavor. I think the thing that was most significant to me, was that my food has a little bit of acidity to it, which makes it kind of the windy dilemma. But it works out really well for the chefs. So there you have it, just like that. [MUSIC]
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Mario Batali: Soft Polenta with Seafood