Sunday, August 05, 2007

Quick Bites: Polenta

I love Polenta. I love it even more when I can make something with it that substitutes for other things - like pizza. Instead of cooking a frozen box of Tostino's pizza bites (which I literally used to live off of), try these Polenta bites instead. Let's get started:

This is so simple I don't really need to lay it out. (Hence, quick bite). Most stores sell pre-cooked polenta that come in these cylindrical plastic tubes. The one I use has porcini mushrooms which gives my quick bites added flavor.

  1. Remove the polenta from the plastic and slice in 1/4 inch rounds. You can go thicker but I wouldn't recommend thinner because then you won't be able to pick up your bite.
  2. Select a base for your sauce. I buy a roasted eggplant pepper spread or use a salsa heavy in mexican oregano.
  3. Choose your toppings. I have a penchant for pork sausage so really you won't get anything else from me.
  4. Top it with fresh herbs and cheese. Above, I used a soft cow milk cheese and cilantro. I also recommend crumbled feta or fresh mozzarella paired with basil.
  5. 375 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.

And that's it. The polenta gets soft and dense and the cheese has melted and browned. It's so easy and is not encased in deep fried bread. (Like Tostino's).

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