Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Polenta Appetizers With Alfredo Or Marinara Sauce Recipes


Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Fontina Cheese

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for oiling pan
1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups water
Salt
1 cup coarse cornmeal

Prepare pan by brushing a layer of olive oil parchment paper lined cookie sheet or brownie pan, 12x8 inch. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk, water and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring just about to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisk quickly and the whole time to prevent lumps from forming. Turn heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, until thick. If mixture becomes too thick, whisk some more bit water in to this, you will want a consistency of thick oatmeal.
Stir 1 tablespoon oil into cooked cornmeal (Polenta). Spread out quickly onto prepared pan, so Polenta does not stiffen; spread it to a thickness of about 1/2 inch all over the parchment paper evenly. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, salt and( pepper optional), cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator until it is firm, an hour or more, it doesn't matter if you leave this longer even overnight. Cut out various shapes with a cookie cutter, remove with a spatual and place on another piece of oil sprayed parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you prefer to use just squares. Then proceed leaving whole as if you were making a pizza, you can cut it after its cooked.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Spread  Polenta with sauce of choice and various topping combinations below. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until it crisps on edges. Sprinkle the cheese at the end just to melt. Fontina, Mozzarella, Swiss all work the best.

 Topping Variations: All spread with your favorite marinara sauce or alfredo sauce, see reccomendations


Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Fontina Cheese ( marinara sauce)
Chicken and Mushrooms ( I have used both marinara and alfredo)
Pepperoni, Mozzarella (marinara sauce)
 Black, Green Olives with Fontina Cheese (marinara sauce)
Ham,  Cheddar or Swiss Cheese (alfredo sauce)
Peppers, Sausage with Mozzarella  (marinara sauce)
Meatball and Mozzarella (marinara sauce)
Shrimp, Scallops Chopped Tomatoes with Mozzarella (marinara or alfredo sauce)
Tomato and Basil (marinara)


Marinara Sauce Recipe:
Fresh Plum(Pomodoro) 10 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine.

I use a food processor for the tomatoes. (If you prefer to remove the skins, place tomatoes in boiling water for ten minutes, remove and immediately put into iced water. Peel the skins with a sharp knife, you can also squeeze out the seeds.) Saute garlic in extra virgin olive oil, add seasonings,simmer in pot for 15 minutes add wine and basil. Cook for 15 more minutes. Great on pasta, pizza.


Alfredo Sauce:

quart heavy cream
5 ounces parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Fontina cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  white pepper
tablespoons butter

Add butter and garlic in a pan saute till garlic is soft. Add the herbs and spices, cream and stir. Simmer on very low around 15 minutes, add cheeses at the end till blended and melted.  A smooth cheese sauce goes great on pasta with chicken or shrimp added.
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