Tag Archives: polenta

Food Matters Project #31: Polenta with Mushroooms

It’s another Food Matters Project post!  This weeks recipe was chosen by Sandra, of Meadows Cooks.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she had chosen the recipe for Polenta Cakes with Garlicky Mushrooms.  Check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.  For the original recipe, check out Sandra’s post.

Sam and I have been trying to clean out (and by that I mean eat everything) from our pantry, freezer and fridge.  It’s a good way to start 2013- with some organization!  So when I read the recipe and didn’t have all of the ingredients, I decided to use what I did have.  Fortunately, Mark Bittman’s recipes are flexible and forgiving!  The only problem is, the recipe might just not turn out like you had thought.

As you check out everyone else’s posts, you’ll see that everyone has polenta cakes.  Unfortunately, ours did not settle and harden.  So we were left with just polenta- but that did not stop us from eating it.  So this version is slightly different than the original recipe, but I think it’s equally delicious and worth a try!

Polenta with Mushrooms

Polenta with Mushrooms
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook & Honest Fare

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 shallots, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mushroom Topping:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 bacon strips
1/4 red onion, chopped
10-15 mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the mushrooms and shallots.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, next add in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Then remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat 4 cups of water until it is boiling.  Lower the heat and add the corn meal, while stirring so no clumps form.  Continue to stir the corn meal until it creamy and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the salt, pepper and mozzarella cheese.  Continue to cook and stir for another 10 minutes, then remove from heat.  Add in the mushroom mixture, stir well to combine all of the ingredients.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil, then add in the bacon strips.  Allow them to cook until they are crisp.  Remove them from heat, and set aside.  Once cooled, chop the bacon into smaller pieces

In the olive oil and bacon grease, heat the onions, mushrooms and jalapeño for about 5 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and toss in the chopped bacon.

Pour the cooked polenta (corn meal) into a bowl, top with the mushroom topping, and serve.

Food Matters Project #28: Lemon Cornmeal Cake

A little late here with my Food Matters Project post, but better than never, right?  And this is a good one to keep in your back pocket, a quick dessert- perfect to make before friends stop by for a mid-week dinner.

This weeks host is Jen, of Prairiesummers.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Apricot Polenta Cake.  Check out her version, and what everyone else made here.

I was very excited to make this since I’ve been saving a very similar recipe from A Meandering Mango.  When I was making this, I decided to take a little from both recipes and make my own version.  Mine tasted very similar to a lemon bar, refreshing and light.

This cake is a perfect way to celebrate a little milestone in our house!  This past weekend we visited Philadelphia, and ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon!  It was Sam’s first half, and he had fun doing it!  I’m very proud, and excited that there will be another race in the near future!

Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg. 560) & A Meandering Mango

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
juice & zest of 1 lemon
juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
1/2 apple, slices*
2-3 fresh figs, finely chopped*

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or use butter or olive oil).

In a stand mixer whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy and creamy.  Slowly add in the olive oil, lemon and lime juices, lemon and lime zest, and vanilla extract.  Lightly whisk the ingredients together.

In a small pot, mix together the cornmeal and salt.  Then whisk in the water, until it is lump-free.  Set the pot over medium heat, whisk frequently and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and cook until the water is absorbed.  Then set aside and allow to cool.

Stir in the flour and cornmeal mixture into the mixing bowl with eggs and sugar.  Stir well, then pour into the sprayed baking dish.

Arrange the apples and figs on top of the cake.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake.  Allow to cool about 15 minutes before cutting it.

*Other alternatives for toppings or frosting: fresh berries, fruit soaked in liquor or honey, ground nuts or coconut, powdered sugar or a honey drizzle!  Be creative, and let me know what worked!

Tomato Chorizo Sauce over Polenta

Although June was fairly mild, the month of July is turning out to be a hot one here in DC, and probably the majority of the country.  Since we don’t have a pool, we tend to hang out inside.  100+ degrees is not enjoyable!  I’m hoping for a cooler next week!

Over the summer, meals tend to be simpler and easier.  This is definitely one of them. You will have to turn on your stove, but it’s only for a very short period of time, and this is definitely well worth- have in the fridge and eat as leftovers.  Tomatoes are in season here, so feel free to swap out the canned ones for some fresh!

Tomato Chorizo Sauce over Polenta
Adapted from: Cooking Light (May 2011)

I used soy chorizo sausage, but other alternatives can be: MorningStar crumbles, and ground beef or chicken.  If you’d like to make it vegetarian (without even fake meat) I’d chop up some peppers, onions or eggplant.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 lb (2 links) of soy chorizo sausage, crumbled
6 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz San Marino tomatoes whole, pureed (or tomato sauce)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup water
3/4 cup corn meal
2 cups chicken stock/vegetable broth
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (optinal)
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat up olive oil in a large saucepan.  Then, add in the onions and saute them until they are translucent.  Next, add the crumbled soy chorizo sausage and garlic.  Once that has cooked for about 3 minutes, add in the pureed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro and red pepper flakes.  Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

In a medium pot, bring water, corn meal and stock to a boil.  Allow the corn meal to cook for about 10 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.  Stir well, there should not be any chunks.

Serve polenta, with the sauce over it.  Garnish with cilantro or shredded cheddar cheese.

Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant

Not too long ago I was telling you about my friend Meaghin’s wonderful blog- Cheery Observations.  She posts beautiful pictures and recipes to match it.  I wish we lived closer to each other, this way I could come over for dinner at least once a week.

Back in August Meaghin posted a recipe for Sweetcorn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce.  It’s a meal full of vegetables- so I definitely wanted to give this one a try.  And I was not disappointed, not one bit.  If you do anything this weekend- please make this recipe.  Delicious!

I did make alterations from Meaghin’s recipe, but I give her full credit for finding this one!

I do have one great product for all of you to try out in your kitchen.  Around here I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods, but I’m sure other stores have them as well.  It’s tomato paste in a tube!  I have never been able to use that little can all at once, so the tube is a great way of preserving the paste until I need it once again.  Add it to your shopping list!

Corn Polenta with Sautéed Eggplant
Adapted from: Cheery Observations

6 ears of corn
3 tbsp olive oil
2 1/4 cup of water + 7 tbsp of water
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium/large eggplant, cut into smaller pieces (the size of a quarter)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup of white wine (we used a dry)
2 large or 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp butter, diced
7 oz feta
2 tsp pepper

Remove the leaves and silk from each of the ears of corn.  While standing each corn on its flat tip, shave off the corn kernels.  Put all of the corn kernels into a sauce pan, cover them with the 2 1/4 cup of water and cook for about 15 minutes.

While the corn in cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion, garlic and eggplant.  Sauté on medium heat for about 15 minutes- or until the eggplant turns lightly brown.  Add the tomato paste, and mix it up with the vegetables.  Once the paste is absorbed, add the wine and cook for about a minute.  Finally, add the tomatoes, water (7 tbsp), 2 tsp salt, oregano, basil  and jalapeño.  Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.

While the eggplant is still cooking, drain the water from the corn kernels but keep the leftover liquid.  Add all of the corn into a food processor.  Process until the consistency is mushy (looks like polenta).  Return the liquid and mushy corn into the pan.  Cook for another 10 minutes while stirring it, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

When the eggplant and corn polenta have been cooked, stir in the butter and feta cheese into the corn mixture.  Stir well until the butter and cheese have melted, and become incorporated by the corn mixture.  Finally, add 2 tsp of salt and pepper, stir some more so everything is well combined.

Finally, spoon out the polenta on plates (or bowls) and then top it off with some eggplant sauce in the center.  Feel free to sprinkle chopped oregano on top.

Enjoy it with the rest of the bottle of wine!