Thursday, October 9, 2008

Friday: Spinach Polenta Bake

This meal is simple and healthy. It is one of those unusual meals that will surprise you with how easy it actually is to prepare.
Plus there is a bonus treat to it too which I will explain in a bit.

Now~ I did make one mistake when meal planning this week. Yesterday I prepared chili and cornbread. Today I made polenta. Both cornbread and polenta are basically corn meal. In the future I would space these meals out by a couple of days. However, we received no complaints around the table tonight.

What you will need:
Instant Polenta
Salt and Pepper
Spinach (frozen chopped is fine!)
Gorgonzola cheese (it is a crumbly cheese with a strong smell/flavor)
1 cup of Cream
*Some kind of tomato sauce, home made or jarred. I cheated and used Prego this time around. It was still very yummy!

What to do:

1. Start by making your instant Polenta, which is as easy as boiling water and adding the polenta. It cooks incredibly fast and will have the consistency of cream of wheat.
I was cooking for three people and used one cup of polenta to three cups of water.
This was the perfect amount for us. You can modify this depending on how many people you are cooking for.

2. When your polenta is finished salt and pepper it real good. You will need to find a pan or slab where you can put your polenta to let it cool. I like to wet the bottom of the cookie sheet to help the polenta not stick. Now spread it out real nice, do not worry if it is not perfect. Mine never is! I do like to try and square it up a bit.
Important: Leave the polenta alone now and let it sit and cool for about an hour. You can put it into the fridge to speed this up a bit.

3. Meanwhile, make the spinach. Now this is the treat. The spinach tastes just like dip that you might eat with delicious crackers. The entire time I was waiting for my polenta to finish we were eating the spinach as dip with ritz crackers. Next time, I am making a double batch of this!
The dip/filling: In a pot place 1 cup of cream and 1 cup of Gorgonzola cheese. SLOWLY bring to a boil. If you are using frozen spinach make sure to drain it really well before putting into the pot. I like to put mine in a food processor to make it really small. After your cream/Gorgonzola is boiling put your spinach into the pot and stir. Now, start digging in with some crackers and enjoy!

4. After your polenta has sat for an hour (or less if it was in the fridge) you will want to cut it into squares.

5. Spread your spinach dip across one side of the polenta.

6. Flip the other side up onto it making a polenta/spinach sandwich.

7. Place in oven (350) for 45 minutes.

8. Heat up a little bit of tomato sauce and place it on the polenta before serving.



Carey said...

I'm glad I found your blog! Your recipes look wonderful. I just added you to my blog list. I will be back often! Keep up the good work!

amy said...

Did you use full fat half and half? I tried this and my sauce flopped, but I used fat free half and half. .my sauce was well incorporated, but when I added the spinach, the cheese unincorporated somehow and stuck to the spinach making a big blob!!! Help!! :)

amy said...

also, somehow i missed the recipe for the pumpkin tomato basil soup for sunday. .am i crazy?!? :)

Ethiopianmomma said...

Amy, Oh I just hate when things do not turn out right. This was as easy as can be for me and turned out great and I am NOT a good cook! I did use full fat half/half, not fat free. I actually did not know you could get half and half fat free. I imagine that would make it much less creamier. Perhaps, if using fat free you need more of it?
I am trying to figure out what happened here for you.
Did you bring the half/half and the cheese to a high heat so that the cheese melted into the half/half?
Did you drain your spinach?
I suggest making it again, using full half/half or whole cream. Bring this to a high heat and add your cheese. Do not add your drained spinach until your cheese has fully melted into the half/half. This is so yummy it is worth trying again!
Did anyone else have this issue?