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Posts tagged ‘polenta’

Small Plates- Tapas

Cheese, wine and bread

Cheese, wine,olives and bread

Tapas anyone?

Tapas anyone?

I was recently inspired to make tapas after reading a post on the very beautiful blog Laura’s Mess. She and friends/fellow bloggers get together and prepare a feast frequently and it’s like a culinary tour of the world. I decided since I love the food of Spain and I am particularly fond of small portions that I would make tapas. You can eat a variety of foods and variety is the spice of life!!

For this meal I made some of my favorite Spanish dishes, they are simple and very tasty and I find that when you set out platters of a variety of food for friends it’s fun, add some good wine to the mix and it’s a great party. You can also make some of the food in advance. The meatballs and tomato sauce and the polenta keep very well for a day or two, I also boiled the potatoes for the patatas bravas a day ahead and fried them the day of, you can also make that yummy sauce ahead.

I am not going to post recipes for all,most of the recipes are not mine,  but I will provide the link to the recipe if you want to make. I served the polenta with the meatballs and tomato sauce, the grilled merguez goes beautifully with the patatas bravas.  The shrimp, well they are great on their own and don’t forget  the cheese and olives and bread with some good olive oil for dipping. Wash it all down with wine I chose Rioja. Sangria would also be lovely with this!!

Here is the menu:

Patatas Bravas

Albondigas- Spanish meatballs (Recipe calls for pork, I used pork and beef)

Merguez (grilled)

Roasted Tomato Sauce (No recipe needed see below for instructions)

Gambas Al Ajillo- Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Cheesy Manchego Polenta

Assorted cheese. bread, olives

Lots of wine

Oven roasted tomatoes for sauce

Oven roasted tomatoes and garlic

Sauce-fresh tomato, garlic,thyme and olive oil

Sauce-fresh tomato, garlic,thyme and olive oil

The tomato sauce is very simple, pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread cherry tomatoes and at least 3 cloves garlic on sheet pan,  I used assorted heirloom, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and sprinkle generously with thyme. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes and garlic are softened and caramelized. Crush with fork or masher and add the meatballs, simmer on low heat for approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Serve with polenta.

Manchego Polenta

Manchego Polenta

Polenta ( You can easily half the recipe if doing tapas)

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

4 cups whey or water

1 cup polenta (corn meal) I used stone ground

pinch of salt

1 cup grated manchego cheese

2 tbs butter

2 tbs heavy cream, creme fraiche or mascarpone

black pepper (2 or 3 turns of the pepper mill)

In saucepan add the whey or water and pinch of salt, bring to a rolling boil. Whisk in the polenta, don’t dump it all in add slowly while you are whisking it thickens very quickly. Lower heat to low and continue whisking until its done. It takes approximately 3-5 minutes for regular cornmeal and 7-10 minutes for stoneground. Remove from heat add the butter, cheese and heavy cream. Stir until its all incorporated. Cover pan and set aside.

Meatballs

Meatballs

I baked the meatballs at 375 degree’s for 30 minutes then finished on stove top simmering in fresh tomato sauce.

 

Ricotta Polenta With Tomato Mushroom Sauce/Ragu

Creamy Polenta with Tomato and Mushrooms

Creamy Polenta with Tomato and Mushrooms

I posted this back in January 2012, it’s really delicious and worth posting again, I am not really doing any cooking because of my injury so I thought it would be fun to go back into the recesses of my blog and re post some of my recipes. This is a wonderful, filling vegetarian dish, you can of course add meat to the sauce but I love it with just vegetables. Tailor to however you like it, adding lots of fresh herbs, different types of mushrooms, I think eggplant would be wonderful. You don’t really have to follow a recipe for this.

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

4 cups whey or water

1 cup polenta (corn meal) I used stone ground

pinch of salt

1/2 cup ricotta (well drained)

2 tbs butter

black pepper (2 or 3 turns of the pepper mill)

In saucepan add the whey or water and pinch of salt, bring to a rolling boil. Whisk in the polenta, don’t dump it all in add slowly while you are whisking it thickens very quickly. Lower heat to low and continue whisking until its done. It takes approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat add the butter and stir, now add the ricotta. Stir until its all incorporated. Cover pan and set aside while you make the sauce.

8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced or whatever type of mushroom you like

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 28 oz can whole or chopped tomatoes

splash of white wine

2 clove garlic peeled and minced

1 whole shallot peeled and chopped

handful italian parsley chopped

olive oil for pan

salt and pepper to taste

Put some olive oil in a saute pan and heat on medium high. Add the shallots and cook until they become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until they start to caramelize. Now add the mushrooms  and cook until the mushrooms lightly browned, add the tomato and wine and cook on med/high until sauce thickens approximately 30 minutes uncovered, I like to cook this in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add the chopped parsley.

Ricotta Polenta with Mushroom Tomato Sauce

Creamy Polenta with Tomato and Mushrooms

I made home made ricotta the other day and had 4 cups of the delicious whey left, discarding it was not an option, adding to breads, cakes are all great options and I will definitely do that for my next batch. I used Jennifer Perillo’s recipe for ricotta and it’s amazing. I wanted something quick, nutritious and easy to prepare. Polenta is creamy and comforting and is a nice change from pasta or potatoes. I used all the whey that I had and also added the left over ricotta. If you don’t have whey using water works just fine. The sauce takes only minutes to make I had some pretty nice tomatoes and cremini mushrooms I needed to use so I incorporated them into this quick sauce with some shallot and garlic and finished with a nice handful of fresh italian parsley. The parsely give it a fresh taste that I really love. Grate some cheese on top and you have yourself a quick and delicious meal in minutes.

4 cups whey or water

1 cup polenta (corn meal) I used stone ground

pinch of salt

1/2 cup ricotta (well drained)

2 tbs butter

black pepper (2 or 3 turns of the pepper mill)

In saucepan add the whey or water and pinch of salt, bring to a rolling boil. Whisk in the polenta, don’t dump it all in add slowly while you are whisking it thickens very quickly. Lower heat to low and continue whisking until its done. It takes approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat add the butter and stir, now add the ricotta. Stir until its all incorporated. Cover pan and set aside while you make the sauce.

8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic peeled and minced

1 shallot peeled and chopped

handful italian parsley chopped

olive oil for pan

salt and pepper to taste

Put some olive oil in a saute pan and heat on medium high. Add the shallots and cook until they become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until they start to caramelize. Now put the mushrooms in and continue to cook until the mushrooms become soft and lightly browned, add the tomato and cook until the tomato becomes soft and cooks down. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add the chopped parsley.

Spoon some polenta on the plate and top with the sauce. This is a great meatless Monday option, I am making some sauteed kale to go with it.