The dishes we remember are those that don’t go quite as planned, which is exactly what happened here. The original recipe is a half baked harvest recipe, but that’s not quite what we ended up making. We knew it might be a long shot finding polenta in Denmark, so we were prepared for a bit of improvisation. When we got to the grocery store and couldn’t find polenta we were thinking maybe risotto but they didn’t have arborio rice either. So for plan C we spotted some instant mashed potatoes and thought mashed potatoes could be a good idea. Naturally I suggested that we make them from scratch instead but given the fact that we don’t have a potato masher instant may have honestly been a better idea. We (and by we I mean I because I was in charge of these sub par potatoes) boiled potatoes and heated milk, butter, and a TON of garlic (one clove per potato). Once I deemed the potatoes done (they weren’t) I threw them in a pot with the hot milk and tried to start mashing. Again, we don’t have a potato masher so I did a mix of an electric mixer and a giant fork. It created an interesting consistency, some way too large lumps that weren’t cooked through and some soupy parts. Anyways, once it was as close to the correct texture as it was going to get, we added goat cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Meanwhile, my roommate was making the more successful portion of the dish. She started with the brussels sprouts, cut them in half and roasted them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt for 20 minutes. While those were cooking, she pan seared small pieces of chicken and then tossed them in balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, thyme, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. She let that cook and thicken and then added the roasted brussels sprouts and lemon juice. We put that on a bed of our mashed potato concoction and topped it with basil, parmesan, and a lemon wedge. Apart from the weird texture of the mashed potatoes this was one of the best things we’ve cooked all semester. I think next time we’ll try it with risotto when we have time to go to a further grocery store.