Monday, July 26, 2010

The Long Quiche Goodbye - new recipe

As many of you know, I've been touring to launch my debut book, The Long Quiche Goodbye. What fun this has been. So many people, so many cities. I'm in a bit of a fog. But delighted! I'll detail it all in my next newsletter (see link below), but in the meantime, I wanted to share a few tidbits.

Mare F, a cozy aficionado and regular commenter to this blog, came to the book signing in Canton, CT. I was thrilled to see her. She surprised me by bringing
me these delightful handmade items.

A "cozy" that is not for teapots but for carafes, so it'll keep a pot of iced tea, or my favorite a carafe of wine, covered while on the porch.

And a knit bag that will carry groceries! Aren't they beautiful???

Talk about making me feel special.

Thank you so much, Mare.

Look for a "Long Quiche Goodbye" refrigerator magnet as a real thank you.

Today I'd like to share another recipe from The Long Quiche Goodbye: Polenta with Basil and Taleggio.

As you know, Grandpere's barbecue sauce [shared July 5 on the blog] was mentioned in the book, but it wasn't a recipe included at the end. This one is. There are four recipes.

Polenta is pretty darned simple. This is a dressed up version. I've included the recipe here, but you'll also find it right before the sneak preview chapter of book two: Lost and Fondue, on page 313.

There's something wonderfully comforting about polenta. It has a melt-in-your mouth texture. Add a strip of taleggio on top, and it's double-melt-in-your-mouth. Taleggio is a washed rind, cow's milk cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a strong aroma but a mild taste and melts great.

But here's the thing. Polenta can be scary to cook. It pops, it bubbles, it spits at you. It's sort of like a dragon! Be prepared. Use a tall pot, use a long spoon, and definitely wear a cooking mitt.


[6-8 portions]

4 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1 cup polenta corn meal

1 cup fresh basil leaves separated

2-4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

8 oz. Taleggio cheese, thinly sliced

Bring water and salt to a boil.

Add polenta corn meal in a thin stream. Keep stirring until corn meal pulls away from sides of pan. (No lumps) Turn down heat to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

While it is cooking, stir-fry the basil in olive oil until crispy, then drain on paper towels.

Spoon hot polenta on to each plate. Lay a couple of slices of Taleggio cheese on each portion and finish with the fried basil.



If you want to subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest updates on cheeses, my book tour, etc., click this LINK.



  1. Avery... I got your book on Saturday (Amazon ships to the island, sadly, the local book seller never has gotten it in stock, and despite a special order from me, did not get it delivered)!

    I am @200 pages in, and will finish this morning... Very fun read, but now I know where to look for the recipes. I never like flipping through the end of a mystery book just in case a word that gives away the ending pops up. I did look at the last pages quickly to see if the recipes were in the back. Didn't see them, and just assumed they were mixed into the body of the book as the dish was introduced into the plot. After 200 pages, I was starting to wonder about where the promised recipes were.

    So, thanks for the heads up. I just found the recipes (didn't know the last few pages were a preview of book #2).

    I am going to guess that I can't find specifically Tallegio cheese here... Brie as a sub maybe?

  2. What a beautiful cozy and bag!

    Polenta is a lot like grits--and the spitting is a little scary! But worth's so GOOD. Thanks for the recipe--can't wait to try it!

  3. Year on the Grill - Taleggio might be a little exotic for your locale. Brie would work (but I'd remove the rind to melt it). You could try Monterey Jack. It melts beautifully and has a mild flavor.


    And yes, recipes at the end, before the sneak preview. Pg 311 to be exact.


  4. Loved the book Avery and I especially love the recipes you shared. I am trying a few out this weekend for a gathering.

  5. Babs, so glad to hear you enjoyed the read! Yeah.


  6. I am mid-book and loving it, Avery!

    Polenta has been a fave of mine for a long time. (Did you know it's a staple all over West Africa under different names, and made with whatever local starch is available?)Do you think I could make this recipe ahead and keep it warm in the oven, adding the cheese at the last minute?

    Thanks for the magnet, by the way. Went right on the fridge.


  7. Edith, yes, you can make polenta a little early. It keeps very hot in the pot. Just cover. If it's a little "thick" when you're ready to serve, add a little boiling water and stir.


  8. I grew up on polenta! My Italian-born Mom made it every week -- what a great recipe to share. Continued congrats on the best-selling success of QUICHE, and hang in there on the release month craziness. Hope you get a chance to take a breather and celebrate. :)

    ~ Cleo
    Coffee Drawing LIVE today at 7:00 PM(Eastern)
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  9. Oh, Cleo, I'm celebrating, and writing, and touring, and celebrating. It's been a wild ride. To all my writer pals out there, persevere and believe you can.


  10. What a beautiful recipe, Avery!

    And what beautiful goodies from Mare ... you can be green *and* stylish with that lovely grocery bag. :)

  11. I like polenta, and I can just imagine that the Taleggio kicks the flavor up a notch. Love the fresh, summery basil, too!

    ~ Krista

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. What beautiful knitted gifts! And this recipe looks terrific. I've fried sage leaves before but never basil. Must try.
    Hearth Cricket

  14. This sounds awesome! Can't wait to try it . . . and can't wait to read your new book! What a lovely surprise to get such awesome presents! :-)

  15. I wasn't surprised when mare showed up. she said she would. But I was truly surprised when she presented me with handmade gifts. So gracious.

    Re: the all things that are cooked in oil, be careful from the spitting grease. Basil is a moist herb and essentially can kick up oil like water. Make sure it's patted dry before putting in the oil.


  16. The polenta sounds delicious. I haven't made any in years, but I think that is about to change. I'm glad that you like your bag and cover. I've received my magnet, thank you so much.