Tuesday Tasty Treats – Savory Mini Polenta Pies.
Oh Tuesday, I’d say it was my favourite day of the week, but I feel that way nearly everyday. What tasty baked item is going to appear out of my oven today? My premise, for Tuesday is still to bake something, and make sure it’s tasty, and treat sized.
Well, after the pie making fun of this weekend, I really wanted to do it more, but with something savory. And something smaller than a whole pie. Well, I took stock of the vegetables I had left over from the weekend’s Thanksgiving extravaganza, realized I had used up all of my unbleached flour, and decided to make savory mini polenta pies. Unfortunately, about midway through the process, my camera batteries needed recharging so the rest (and it pretty obvious which are which) are taken with an iPad.
I wanted it to be a little meal about the size of a cupcake. So I gathered up the eggplant, carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms, cleaned them up, and put them together in a bowl to keep myself organized. I’ve also gotten into the habit of cutting up twice the amount of veggies in order to freeze them for later. As soon as it got cold outside, I started squirreling away odds and ends of veggies even though we have four or five grocery stores within walking/easy busing distance. Left over habits from living in Saskatoon during the winter and hibernating I suppose.
I took all the corn meal I had left (which ended up being nearly exactly 1 Cup) and followed the packages instruction for polentafication, with the exception of using 1 1/2 cup of premade broth and 1 1/2 cup of plain water.
MeShell’s Package O’Polenta
1 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup broth
1/2 tsp salt
Put everything in your favourite pot. Or your least favourite pot if you are the type to leave your pots on the stove for long period of time – pots of polenta get mega messy if you aren’t careful. Bring to a slow boil. Stir regularly and often, and cover it when you’re not – it can gets sputtery if you let it get lonely for too long. It’s thick enough the moment it starts requiring more than kitten strength to stir the pot.
Let it cool off a bit until you’re comfortable touching it. Pushing the polenta into a cupcake or pie tin is a lot easier with cooler polenta. Grease the pan for easy mini pie removal. Throw the polenta into the oven at 350F for 15 minutes or so and take it out.
What’s in my Polenta Pie Filling aka What was in my fridge today –
1 tbsp olive oil.
2 onions (1 would be fine – I just love onions), diced.
1 carrot, washed, chopped into coins
1 celery stalk. chopped.
4 mushrooms. I used cremini, but I think portobellos would be perfecto.
1/4 eggplant. chopped up into neat little cubes..
1/4 cup red wine, shiraz
tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp thyme.
1/4 tsp basil.
1/4 cup of ground up quinoa
Heat up the oil in a pot. Throw in the chopped onion and let it do it’s thing till the onion is translucent. Throw in the mushrooms, celery and carrots, stir the heck out of it. Leave it alone for a few minutes. Toss in the eggplant, vinegar and wine, and again, leave it be. Season with spices.
I threw in ground up quinoa because I had some laying around, and I wanted a bit more protein in the dish. It also thickens the vegetable mix, so you will want to add a little bit more water, but it binds everything together nicely.
Fill the polenta cups with the filling, and put it all back in the oven – 20 minutes was all it took and it was ready for eating.
Tomorrow I’m trying out another gluten free recipe, but I haven’t been able to decide on one yet. Any by the way, if anyone is interested in testing out recipes, Laurie is still open to more people. So give her a shout on her blog or on twitter!
Yum! Plus good kitty vibes.
I love polenta and I know all too well its proclivity to sputter flaming hot flecks onto my face if I leave it alone.
I'll have to try this!