The phrase “dog days of summer” conjures images of sultry heat, fruity drinks, and scant clothing—my favorite time of year. And, though I’ve been slacking with my blogging during this year’s dog days, I haven’t had a real chance to slow down enough and enjoy the stagnant, humid weather.
Jim and I did have a spectacular, if short, vacation two weeks ago. Lazy reading on the beach and naps in the afternoon. No cooking. Four days of nothing. It was fantastic.
And then… I came back to a crazy workplace. One of my employees quit and the new art studios she was supposed to raise that week were feeling shaky. I spent the week traveling to Philly and up and down New Jersey in her place—not to mention trying to get back on track with my own work after my little vacation. Much to my dismay, there was no cooking then either.
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I shook away my fatigue and went shopping. I needed a satisfying meal—one that takes longer than 10 minutes in the kitchen. I needed a meal that made me feel like I worked for it.
This corn & sausage tart fit the bill nicely. There’s something very satisfying in an iron skillet—I love meals where I begin on the stove top and end up in the oven. And cutting 6 ears-worth of corn off the cob makes you feel laborious. The best part about this though, was how much it tastes like comfort food after a long day of work and cooking!
I used smoked mozzarella in this recipe because I felt it complimented the chorizo well–but substitute any cheese, or any type of sausage, you like. Make sure the polenta is thick enough before you place it in the skillet to bake so that it forms into a crust for the tart.
I look forward to many more dog days of summer in August, when (as crazy as it may seem) all I want to do is stay in my hot kitchen and cook!
Corn & Sausage Tart
Oven Temp: 400° You need an iron, or oven-proof, skillet.
Time: depending on how fast you can prep—start to finish took me about an hour.
- 1 lb. chorizo sausage, out of casing
- 6 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 5-6 ears of corn kernels—stand the corn on its end and use a knife to slice off kernels in downward motions. Use the back of your knife to run along the empty cobs and extract any juice.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Poblano pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¾ cup dry polenta
- 2 cups water
- Heat a 10-in (or around that size) coated iron skillet. Add onion to pan (use a dash of oil if you want) and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Add chile to pan and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add sausage to pan and sauté, stirring to separate, for another 5 minutes or so. Add corn and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Remove from skillet into a bowl.
- Wash skillet, pat dry, and re-coat with cooking spray.
- Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When boiling, add polenta and whisk until thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add 2 cups of corn mixture into polenta. Pour polenta mixture into the dried skillet and spread over the bottom.
- Place slices of cheese over the polenta—saving a little for later. Layer the rest of the corn mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
- Place in oven for about 25 minutes, or until browned. Be CAREFUL taking this heavy, hot skillet out of the oven! Serve with sour cream if desired. Enjoy!