Jalapeño Polenta Bread

I love having quick bread with lunch! Since it’s usually just the hubby and I indulging, I’ve stated to make mini loaves then freeze one for future lunches!

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 1/4 c instant Polenta
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/4 c pickled jalapeños, chopped & drained
  • 1/2 c parmigiana cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine all ingredient in a bowl and whisk until well mixed.

Pour into a small bread pan and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serves 12.

Polenta with Mushrooms

Polenta in the pressure cooker is a game changer – it comes out perfect! I sautéed some mushrooms added some air fried sage and served it with a salad – yummy! If you leave off the cheese this one is vegan.

Polenta:

  • 5 c chicken stock or veggie stock
  • 1 1/2 c polenta
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan

Stir all ingredients together in multicooker and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. If it’s too thick stir in a little milk or water and cook on sauté for 5 minutes stirring a few times.

Mushrooms:

  • 1 lb of mixed mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sage leaves

In a large skillet heat a little oil and add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally – until they are crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Move the side, spray sage leaves with olive oil and cook sage leaves until crispy.

Spoon polenta onto a plate, top with mushrooms and a little grated Parmesan.

Serves 4.

Jalapeño Polenta Bread

This is a quick and easy Bread from Patricia Wells! It’s delicious the next day too!

Ingredients
Olive oil spray
1 1/4 c instant polenta
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c buttermilk
1/4 c jalapenos, minced
1/2 c parmigiano, grated

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a 10 in round pan.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour into pan and bake for 15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and slice.

Serves 8.

Polenta with Mushrooms

  

This is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty and like every other recipe in his book it is perfect, and I don’t mess with perfection.

Ingredients:
4 tbsp olive oil
4 c mixed mushrooms, cleaned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 tbsp truffle oil
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 cvegetable stock
1/2 c polenta
1/2 c Parmesan, grated
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp chervil, chopped
4 oz taleggio, cut into thin slices

In a frying pan, heat half the oil. When it is very hot, fry half the mushrooms – try not to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from the pan, reheat the remaining oil and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms. Off the heat, return all the mushrooms to the pan, add the garlic, tarragon, thyme and truffle oil, season, and keep warm.

Preheat broiler to its highest setting. Bring the stock to a boil, slowly stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to minimum and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny (instant polenta won’t take more than five minutes; the real stuff will take up to 50).

When the polenta is ready, stir in the Parmesan, butter, rosemary and half the chervil, and season. Pile on to an ovenproof serving dish and top with taleggio. Place under a grill until the cheese bubbles, remove, top with the mushrooms and their juices, and serve garnished with chopped chervil.

Serves 4.

Polenta with Onion and Tomato Sauce

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This dish is so easy and perfect for a light weeknight dinner. You can use precooked polenta log. I made a double batch, poured 1/2 into a glass pan and chilled overnight then sliced into polenta sticks.

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked polenta sliced 1 inch thick
1/4 grated gruyere
1 large onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into thin half-rounds
2 TBSP olive oil
2 dried bay leaves
One 28-ounce (765g) can peeled Italian plum tomatoes in juice
Fresh, flat-leafed parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 c Pine nuts, toasted

In a large skillet, combine the onion, the olive oil, and 1/2 tsp salt and sweat – cook, covered over low heat until soft and translucent – about 5 minutes. With a large pair of scissors, cut the tomatoes in the can into small piece. Add the bay leaves and tomatoes and their juices and cook, covered, over low heat for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

At serving time, preheat the broiler. Cut the polenta into 8 even sliced.
Place on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler and broil, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plates, top with cheese, spoon the sauce all over. Garnish with parsley and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Mushrooms and Polenta

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Another winner from Polenta. I made a few minor changes, more herbs, truffle cheese and truffle salt. This is amazing luxurious comfort food.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP olive oil
4 c mixed mushrooms, cleaned
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 TBSP tarragon, chopped
3 TBSP thyme, chopped
3 TBSP truffle oil
Salt and pepper
3 c water
1 c polenta
3 oz Parmesan, grated
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
4 oz truffle cheese or Taleggio, grated

In a frying pan, heat half the oil. When it is very hot, fry half the mushrooms – try not to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from the pan, reheat the remaining oil and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms. Off the heat, return all the mushrooms to the pan, add the garlic, tarragon, thyme and truffle oil, season, and keep warm.

Preheat the broiler.

In a large microwave safe bowl lid, stir together water and polenta. Microwave in 5 min intervals until smooth and creamy, adding more water it it starts to get to stiff. It usually takes about 20 – 25 minutes.

When the polenta is ready, stir in the Parmesan and rosemary and season. Pile on to an ovenproof serving dish and top with taleggio. Place under broiler until the cheese bubbles, remove, top with the mushrooms and their juices.

Polenta with Asparagus and Crispy Pork Belly

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It’s nearing the end of the week and this meal consisted of what was left in the fridge, asparagus, leftover polenta and a package of Trader Joes pork belly. Which combined to make the perfect weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, steamed for 3 minutes
1 package of Trader Joes pork belly, diced
2 cups cooked polenta, cooled in the fridge and sliced into 1/2 thick slices
Truffle oil
Parmigiano cheese

In a large non stick skillet cook the pork belly over medium high heat until crispy all over.

In a grill pan or cast iron skillet, brushed with a little olive oil, cook the polenta until crispy over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side.

Place a couple slices polenta on each plate, asparagus, and top with crispy pork belly, a drizzle of truffle oil and a little parmigiano cheese.

Serves 4.

Polenta with Pork Belly & Baby Kale

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I love Trader Joes pre cooked pork belly!! It makes the perfect weeknight meal coupled with a little microwaved polenta and sautéed baby kale. Feel free to add cheese or herbs to the polenta.

Ingredients:
4 oz pork belly, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
6 oz baby kale or spinach
1/2 c polenta
Water
1/2 c half and half or milk
Salt and pepper

Stir polenta and 2 1/2 c water and half and half in a medium microwave-safe bowl; salt and pepper. Cover with a lid. Microwave for 4 minutes. Carefully remove plate and whisk polenta. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes longer. Repeat until polenta is soft, adding more water by 1/4-cupfuls if too thick, 10–12 minutes total, depending on strength of microwave. Season to taste with salt and pepper; keep warm.

In a large non stick skillet cook the pork belly over medium high heat until crispy on both sides. Set aside and kale and sautée until wilted.

Spoon polenta into a bowl, top with greens and pork belly.

Serves 2.

Polenta with Mushrooms

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This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found in Food & Wine. I had some truffled polenta on hand so I used that – it would be just as tasty with regular polenta. It comes together in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c medium-grain polenta
Salt and pepper
6 TBSP butter
1/2 c chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 TBSP finely grated lemon zest
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced or quartered
12 oz spinach
1/2 c mascarpone cheese

Cook polenta according to package. Just before serving stir in the marcarpone.

Mince the parsley and garlic with the lemon zest. Transfer the gremolata to a small bowl.

In a large skillet, melt 1 TBSP of the butter in 2 TBSP of the olive oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the chopped greens and cook for 1 minute; transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining butter, oil, mushrooms and chopped greens.

To serve, spread polenta on a plate, top with mushrooms, greens, Parmesan and gremolata.

Serves 4 as main course.

Foie Gras with Polenta Cake and Blackberry Sauce

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My hubby’s birthday is on Monday, so I wanted to make something extra special this weekend, so I broke into my stash of Foie Gras to make this extra special dinner. The combo of creamy foie, crispy polenta and sweet blackberry sauce is amazing – we licked out plates clean! This recipe is adapted from Foie Gras a Passion by Michael Ginor.

Ingredients:
4 slices of foie gras, 1/2 inch thick
2 c mixed salad greens
Polenta cakes
Blackberry sauce

Blackberry Sauce:
1 TBSP ghee or butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 pint blackberries
1/2 c water
1/2 c cassis liqueur
2 TBSP blackberry jelly
2 TBSP chicken stock
1/2 tsp thyme leave
Pepper

In a 2 qt saucepan, melt butter, add shallots, bay leaf and 1/2 pint of blackberries, cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add water, cassis, jelly and stock and simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in thyme and pepper and remaining berries. Set aside.

Polenta:
2 TBSP ghee or butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 c water
2 c milk
1/2 c polenta
1/3 c grated parmigiano-reggiano
Salt
Cayenne pepper

In a 4 qt pan, melt butter, sweet the garlic and bay leaf over low heat for 30 seconds. Add water and milk, bring to a simmer and remove bay leaf. Whisking constantly, slowly add the polenta in a steady stream. Simmer for 10 minutes until polenta thickens, then whisk in cheese, salt and cayenne. Line a half sheet pan with Saran Wrap and pour the polenta into the pan about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove and cut into 2 inch squares. Heat 1 TbSP of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and cook both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Keep warm.

Foie:

Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Season with salt and pepper on each side. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and sear on each side, About 30 seconds per side.

Pour foie drippings into the sauce and stir.

Service:
Place 1 cup of greens on each plate. Place two polenta squares on salad too with foie and spoon sauce over the foie gras and salad.

Serves 2.