Romantic Meal - Pork Rib Roast, Marscarpone Polenta & Garlic Asparagus...and Dessert!

Lately I haven't been in the mood to cook.  Maybe it's the weather changing, but I've been in a funk.

The family has definitely noticed and they aren't happy about it.  If I have to hear one more whining complaint when answering the question "Mom, what's for dinner?" (my answer has been "leftovers" far too many times over the last few weeks) I'm going to pull my hair out!

So I decided to make a nice romantic meal for me and the BF the other day.  The kids weren't around and I was home doing nothing (a rare occurrence) so I figured, why not?

We all know how frugal I am, so I went to the grocery store with no idea what protein I was going to buy.  I knew I wanted something with creamy polenta and asparagus though.  I figured I would buy a couple of steaks but when I laid my eyes on a huge bone-in pork rib roast at $11.00 I couldn't resist.  I grabbed it and bought it and literally skipped through the parking lot to my car.

Only there was a catch.  I've never cooked a pork rib roast before.

I couldn't contain my excitement so while driving home when I got home I started googling recipes.  I found a great one on All Recipes and it didn't disappoint!  Check it out here.  It's titled "The World's Best Pork Loin Rub" and it really was.  This is my new favorite rub and works on any meat (in fact I rubbed it on T-Bone steaks last night, utterly delicious).

Below are recipes for the rest of the meal - everything came out beautifully and there were lots of leftovers (oh my god I can hear the whining already) to enjoy.

Emeril Lagasse's Marscarpone Cheese Polenta
4 c milk
1/4 c EVOO
1 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1 c marscarpone cheese
(I cut this recipe in half because it always makes so much, but in retrospect I wish I hadn't - I can eat it for days)

In a large saucepan bring milk to a boil.  Add EVOO, salt & pepper.  Very gradually, add polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, 20-30 minutes (I only take about 5 minutes because it thickens up fast but the recipe says 20-30 minutes).  Add cheese and adjust seasoning to taste.

I also made a gravy for the pork - 4 T butter (or margarine, which is what I used, 2 1/2c broth (any), 4 T flour, salt & pepper.  Melt the butter in a pan, add flour and whisk constantly, then add broth, salt & pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes and it will become thicker.

For the asparagus, I boiled them for 3 minutes, drained them, and added a tablespoon of garlic butter.

The dessert was super simple.

I found a quaker chocolate muffin mix in my pantry, and I knew if I didn't use it now I probably never would.  I also had a package of cream cheese in the fridge that I had bought for a recipe that I didn't end up making.

I mixed the cream cheese with an egg, 1/3c sugar and some vanilla.  I made the muffin mix, put them in baking cups in a muffin tin, and topped them each with a tablespoon of the cream cheese.  I baked them for 22 minutes at 350.  They were so good - like a cheesecake brownie...with zero effort!

So there you have it folks - a meal fit for kings with very little slaving in the kitchen.  Enjoy!