Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Polenta Cup Babies

If I could eat roasted veggies everyday, I surely would. I ate about two cups of them with gumbo leftovers for breakfast. Then again with curry chicken for lunch...with Glutino crackers for snack...and now dinner. The possibilities are endless--in a panini, tossed with pasta, and now paired with hummus, all cozied up in a Parmesan polenta cup! I guess I just like cute little finger foods :)

 This polenta dough can be put in a tart pan, regular cupcake pan, anything! Just pay attention to it while it's baking and check it every few minutes to make sure it doesn't burn. My minis came out crispy and perfect, like a cross between polenta and a Parmesan cheese crisp.

For the Parmesan polenta cups (makes enough for about 15 minis):

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (I used white, but I prefer the stronger "corny" flavor of yellow)
  • 1 cup water
  • heavy pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (cheddar would work as well)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I used my convection bake setting to ensure even cooking. Spray a mini cupcake pan with olive oil cooking spray.
In a saucepan, combine the water and cornmeal, stir it with a fork to get rid of the lumps, and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and stir it constantly for about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and mix everything for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow the polenta to cool for a few minutes, so that it's cool to the touch and pliable enough to form on the inside of your pan. Plop about a tablespoon, give or take, into each well, and use your fingers to smooth it up and around the sides, similar to how you would make a pie crust. Bake for aboooouuuuuuutttttttt 20 minutes, BUT ***PLEASE DON'T HOLD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIS NUMBER, I DIDN'T TRACK MY TIME!*** I guess now I have an excuse to make em again! :D

Once my cups were done baking, I noticed the bottoms weren't as crispy as I had hoped. Soooo I removed them from the pan, placing each one upside-down on a regular cookie sheet, and then baked them for 10 minutes longer until they looked crispy throughout.

I let em cool off a bit, and then filled each one with a tiny smear of roasted red pepper hummus. I then finely chopped some veggies my mama roasted yesterday, added a few kalamata olives, a splash of lemon juice, about a teaspoon of oregano, some black pepper, and sea salt. I had about a cup of veggies, which included:

  • onion
  • yellow squash
  • zucchini
  • eggplant
  • broccoli
  • sweet peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • mushrooms

I could only fit about a half of a tablespoon's worth of veggies in each cup, so I had a lot left over, which I later ate on a salad with red wine vinegar.


Something tells me I'll be making different versions of these at least once a week...mmmm

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