THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

Saucy Polenta Fingers December 10, 2009

After feeling like I hit a culinary wall of non-creativity (why is it that we always go back to the same old same old after a while??), I went a huntin’ in the great abbyss that is my pantry.  My prey?  Turned out to be a big fat zippy filled with cornmeal.  Enter… inspiration!  I’ve made both the store bought and homemade kinds before, but I wanted to jazz this lil diddy up, so I made this into fingers.  Cooled ’em, cute ’em, grilled ’em, then smothered ’em in sauce.  Outcome?  A brilliantly cheap, quick, hearty and luscious winter-time meal.  Bonus was the totally gluten-free day I had!  Woot!

.

INGREDIENTS:

For the polenta –

4 cups water

3 1/2 cups of milk

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)

For the sauce –

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces

2 cups diced canned tomatoes

1 tsp EACH dried parsley and dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring water and milk to a boil in a medium pot, then turn down to a simmer – watching closely so you don’t burn the milk.

2. Add cornmeal  into pot in a slow stream, stirring, then add dried basil and salt, and continuing to whisk for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Continue to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes more – polenta will be gloppy and stiff, but try to keep stirring so the bottom does not burn, then remove from heat.

4. Mix in Parmesan cheese and butter, then plop into a greased 9×11 baking dish and cool for at least 30 minutes until completely solid.

5. While polenta is solidifying, in a large skillet heat oil over medium heat, and saute onions until translucent, then add in garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant and slighly browned (about 1-2 minute).

6. Add canned tomatoes and dried spices (and salt and pepper to taste), simmer for 5-7 minutes, then add in diced green beans and cook until tender – about another 5 min (simmer sauce on low until ready to use).

7.  Slice soild polenta into fingers, remove fro baking dish, and grill in a grill pan until heated and slightly browned (you could also broil in the oven, turning so all sides are browned).

8. Place grilled polenta fingers on a plate, and cover with sauce – sprinkle with parmessean and serve HOT!

Advertisements
 

Black Bean Burgers with Fried Eggs and Avocado-creme June 18, 2009

Brunch just got better … here’s a Tex-Mex-influenced addition to your breakfast table (or dinner table for that matter).  You can even make everything a day in advance and just reheat (well, except for the fried eggs), assemble, and serve!  Don’t forget to put out the hot sauce too, for an extra kick.

.

INGREDIENTS:

Black bean cakes:
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
4 tsp hot sauce
4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (canola or vegetable work best)

Avocado-creme:
1 avocado, cut in half lengthwise, peel and pit removed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBSP lime juice

Additional:
6 fried eggs

.

.

DIRECTIONS:

.

Black bean cakes:

1. Heat oven to 300°F and arrange rack in the middle, then place cornmeal in a shallow dish and set aside

2. Place beans, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, onion, hot sauce, and salt in food processor, pulse about 15 times until incorporated and beans are broken down (but some whole beans remain).

3. Form 6 patties and dust each patty on both sides with cornmeal, and
place on baking sheet or plate.

4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, then place 3 patties in pan and fry until golden (about 3 to 5 minutes per side – but watch out they don’t burn!).

5. Transfer fried patties on baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm (and then repeat with remaining patties).

.

Avocado-creme:
* Place all ingredients into food processor and process until smooth, then season with salt.

.

Put it all together:
* Place bean cakes on serving plates and top each with a fried egg and 2 TBSP of avocado-creme!!

.blackbean

 

Corny Muffins January 18, 2008

Filed under: My bakery — s mcdowall @ 3:50 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I love corn-bread, corn-muffins, and corn-chips, and … well … all things corn really. These little gaffers are simply sweet, slightly crispy outside and really hold up well to soups and chillies. They’re also great with a little jam on top for a nice morning snack.
corn.jpg
Ingredients:
1 cup flour (your choice, but hemp doesn’t really work well here)
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup corn or vegetable oil
¾ cup milk (again, your choice – I used ½ dairy and ½ rice)
2 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400F
2) In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
4) Gently pour wet into dry, and mix lightly (do not over mix!).
5) Halfway through mixing add lemon zest and combine.
6) Pour into muffin pan (do not overfill each cup) and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Serve warm!